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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?