RIM again floats idea of licensing BlackBerry OS

RIM sounds closer than ever to partnering with former competitors to expand BlackBerry’s reach beyond its stagnant U.S. user base.

After Research in Motion launches BlackBerry 10 in early 2013, your next BlackBerry device could come from HTC, LG, Samsung or Sony. RIM is once again talking about licensing its touch-centric BlackBerry OS reboot to other manufacturers. The idea of BlackBerry software licensing has been bandied about ever since RIM CEO Thorsten Heins took control of the company in January. But in recent weeks, RIM has sounded closer than ever to partnering with former competitors to expand BlackBerrys reach beyond its stagnant U.S. user base.

QNX [the software company RIM acquired in 2010] is already licensed across the automotive sector --we could do that with BB10 if we chose to, Heins told Bloomberg. The platform can be licensed. Earlier in August, Heins told The Telegraph in London that RIM was investigating a licensing model, but that it was way too early to get into any details. Soon after Heins spoke with the Telegraph, an analyst speculated that RIM might license its software to Samsung and that the companies were negotiating such a deal, a rumor that Samsung quickly denied.

Nevertheless, speculation that BlackBerry 10 could be licensed to other manufacturers continues to surface, often sparked by comments from RIMs own CEO. The company hasnt committed to licensing yet, but its a long time until we see BlackBerry 10. Before then, we expect to see a new iPhone, new Android devices, and an enterprise-ready version of Windows Phone.

Thats bad news for RIM, which has already slipped to 10.7 percent of all U.S. smartphone users down from 17.2 percent in January, according to metrics firm comScore. To survive yet another wave of new smartphones, the company may have no choice but to offer BlackBerry software and services on non-BlackBerry devices.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter andGoogle+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?