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RIM Will License Out BB10 To Anyone, Says CEO

By - Source: Bloomberg | B 25 comments

RIM is looking to license out BlackBerry 10 after all.

Looks as though RIM has decided to take the licensing route after all, allowing manufacturers to create their own BlackBerry 10 devices. Bloomberg reports that the new platform is in the final stages of testing, and that the company is currently trying to determine how other smartphone makers will be able to use RIM's range of products.

On Monday, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said that the BlackBerry 10 platform is based on QNX, software that's already licensed out to be used in cars, nuclear plants and military drones. "QNX is already licensed across the automotive sector -- we could do that with BB10 if we chose to," Heins admitted. "The platform can be licensed."

Heins said that he wants RIM to expand beyond smartphones and tablets, moving into other areas of mobile computing and what he describes as "machine-to-machine" communications. Still, for now the smartphone sector is the company's bread and butter, and BlackBerry 10, which is essentially a fresh start for the fledgeling company, will be the make-it-or-break-it factor come 1Q13.

Licensing out the new OS has been a topic of discussion within RIM's offices for some time as the company weighs its future. Previously there have been reports that Samsung had an interest in licensing the new BlackBerry platform, and IBM has even talked about acquiring the enterprise aspect if BlackBerry 10 actually tanks next year.

Presently RIM produces its own products, but thanks to the success of Apple's iPhone and iPad, and Google's saturation of the smartphone sector using Android, RIM is looking beyond serving as a sole Blackberry device maker by licensing out BlackBerry 10 so that the new platform can saturate the market more quickly. Currently Google's Android dominates the market, a place RIM could arrive if it in fact takes the licensing route as indicated.

"We’re here to win,” he said, referring to how BlackBerry 10 will change its position in the smartphone market. "We’re not here to fight for third or fourth place."

RIM is seemingly riding on fumes as it works to bring BlackBerry 10 devices to the market in 1Q13. The company has placed its bets and is depending on the platform's upcoming success. Until then, investors are riding a stock roller coaster as prices rise and fall due to various reports. Company shares fell 2.1-percent to $8.12 at 2:47 p.m. today in New York after six straight days of gains. Overall the stock has lost 95-percent of its value since its mid-2008 high.

 

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  • 2 Hide
    blingooron , August 13, 2012 10:17 PM
    cool story katie holmes
  • 3 Hide
    schnitter , August 13, 2012 10:17 PM
    If that doesn't yell "Desperate" then I don't know what does.
  • 0 Hide
    killabanks , August 13, 2012 10:26 PM
    yeah hard times call for "Desperate" moves
  • 0 Hide
    twelch82 , August 13, 2012 10:41 PM
    For this to be successful, they would need to not only say they'll license BB10, but are making a commitment to licensing out any future versions of the OS as well.

    Nobody's going to want to go through the effort of making devices with the BB OS if the worst-case scenario is no demand, and the best-case scenario is RIM getting back on its feet and terminating/not renewing the licenses.
  • 6 Hide
    phatboe , August 13, 2012 10:42 PM
    I wouldn't really say it's "desperate", I would say it's smart. RIM is nowhere near the size or MS, Apple or Google and as of right now that have very little market share. So it makes sense to license out the OS in an effort to collect income that RIM can re-invest into the QNX/BB10 platform so that it can catch up with the other, well established market leaders.
  • 5 Hide
    killerclick , August 13, 2012 10:48 PM
    Apple bounced back from nothing to become what they are today. Maybe RIM can do the same thing with Blackberry, after all they are not in debt, and they're sitting on $7 billion and now have less than 10k employees. They could literally do anything.
  • 0 Hide
    derekullo , August 13, 2012 10:49 PM
    Beggars can't be choosers
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , August 13, 2012 10:51 PM
    Thanks but we don't want that crap, says Anyone.
  • 2 Hide
    cookoy , August 13, 2012 11:00 PM
    Wonder how RIM, Nokia and Microsoft would fare out in the coming year.
  • 3 Hide
    schnitter , August 13, 2012 11:02 PM
    killerclickApple bounced back from nothing to become what they are today. Maybe RIM can do the same thing with Blackberry, after all they are not in debt, and they're sitting on $7 billion and now have less than 10k employees. They could literally do anything.


    Well they've brought "new blood" to try and save themselves, but they have had deserters more than recruits because no one has faith in them anymore... and rightly so. Instead of licensing BB10, they should sell BBMessenger.
  • 5 Hide
    killerclick , August 13, 2012 11:04 PM
    schnitterWell they've brought "new blood" to try and save themselves, but they have had deserters more than recruits because no one has faith in them anymore... and rightly so. Instead of licensing BB10, they should sell BBMessenger.


    Why would they sell anything? They don't need the money, they have tons of it. What they need is a compelling new product.
  • -1 Hide
    southernshark , August 13, 2012 11:07 PM
    They should license it to Kodak.
  • 1 Hide
    schnitter , August 13, 2012 11:33 PM
    killerclickWhy would they sell anything? They don't need the money, they have tons of it. What they need is a compelling new product.


    Easy, because selling BBM would make more people use BBM so it wouldn't be a dying messenger service as it is now. With BBM as popular as WhatsApp, then BlackBerry phones could have a shot at keeping to exist. Sure they still have money, but they are losing more of it every quarter. They are NOT profitable any longer.
  • 2 Hide
    boiler1990 , August 14, 2012 12:04 AM
    schnitterEasy, because selling BBM would make more people use BBM so it wouldn't be a dying messenger service as it is now. With BBM as popular as WhatsApp, then BlackBerry phones could have a shot at keeping to exist. Sure they still have money, but they are losing more of it every quarter. They are NOT profitable any longer.


    BBM is not the only reason BBs still exist. Actually, it's not even close. If you haven't worked in a corporate environment that requires advanced Exchange features and some of the industry's best security and networking combined in one device, then you don't understand. Blackberry, of all the companies, still has government and corporate contracts, and I don't think they did that just for BBM.
  • 9 Hide
    Kozak , August 14, 2012 12:12 AM
    Why do all the detractors of RIM believe that the smartphone market will be better with fewer options and less competition?

    As an example, for years the PC market was dominated by Microsoft's Windows OS platform. Consumers were forced to accept a lacklustre product with poor stability, but had no viable alternative to switch to (not that there were not options, just none that were viable for the majority of users). Windows users complained and Microsoft placated everyone with occasional fixes, but until a viable alternative appeared the status quo was maintained.

    In the smartphone market now, there are the Apple fanatics (iSheep) that believe every product released is manna from heaven, and the Android supporters (fAndroids) that are content to accept a fragmented OS stream with a lengthy update time line on various hardware platforms. These two groups, along with possible WP8 supporters, believe with vehemence, that RIM should be driven from the market and the option removed from consumers. Fewer options and less competition does not lead to improved products and innovation, it leads to stagnation.

    Both IBM and Apple were early innovators in their markets, both stagnated and were marginalized, and both were revitalized to become market leaders. RIM is attempting to revitalize itself and should be given that opportunity, before all the detractors rush in to sign the death certificate. Should RIM succeed, the market and consumers will benefit. Should RIM fail, then so be it.
  • 1 Hide
    belardo , August 14, 2012 12:26 AM
    I'm willing to pay $150 for licence to BB10.
  • 2 Hide
    blusls , August 14, 2012 1:17 AM
    Go here to get the real info on what he meant and said. Oye!!!! Why can't anyone be honest in Journalism????? Geezzz!!!!! http://crackberry.com/bloomberg%E2%80%99s-interview-thorsten-heins-shows-blackberry%E2%80%99s-game-plan-hasn%E2%80%99t-changed
  • 1 Hide
    A Bad Day , August 14, 2012 1:17 AM
    southernsharkThey should license it to Kodak.


    Kodak had filed for bankruptcy last year and is under a restructuring program. I doubt it has the cash to do anything.
  • 2 Hide
    twelch82 , August 14, 2012 3:58 AM
    KozakWhy do all the detractors of RIM believe that the smartphone market will be better with fewer options and less competition?As an example, for years the PC market was dominated by Microsoft's Windows OS platform. Consumers were forced to accept a lacklustre product with poor stability, but had no viable alternative to switch to (not that there were not options, just none that were viable for the majority of users). Windows users complained and Microsoft placated everyone with occasional fixes, but until a viable alternative appeared the status quo was maintained.In the smartphone market now, there are the Apple fanatics (iSheep) that believe every product released is manna from heaven, and the Android supporters (fAndroids) that are content to accept a fragmented OS stream with a lengthy update time line on various hardware platforms. These two groups, along with possible WP8 supporters, believe with vehemence, that RIM should be driven from the market and the option removed from consumers. Fewer options and less competition does not lead to improved products and innovation, it leads to stagnation.Both IBM and Apple were early innovators in their markets, both stagnated and were marginalized, and both were revitalized to become market leaders. RIM is attempting to revitalize itself and should be given that opportunity, before all the detractors rush in to sign the death certificate. Should RIM succeed, the market and consumers will benefit. Should RIM fail, then so be it.


    Fragmentation is more palatable now than in the past, because most of the software is supported on all of the fragments, and the appstore concept makes it easy to gate off apps that aren't supported on a given device, so it's not left up to the purchaser of the app to figure out whether or not it's going to run before they buy it.

    Android is the long-term smartphone platform. Not necessarily because it's better, but because it hasn't ever been locked to one hardware manufacturer, and how has the momentum it needs behind it. It's gone through growing pains with rapid releases over the past few years, but I would expect that to slow down in 2-3 years.

    When the default UI has matured enough, I also expect to see fewer handset makers forcing their own UI flavors on top as well. If you are old enough, you might remember custom manufacturer app launchers that were built on top of Windows in the early '90s (ex. Packard Bell Explorer).

    Again though, it doesn't really matter to me how many variants of the OS are out there, provided the apps still work. Better off with ten different skins of one OS, than ten completely different OSes that dont' run each others' apps.
  • 3 Hide
    Kozak , August 14, 2012 7:56 AM
    twelch82Fragmentation is more palatable now than in the past, because most of the software is supported on all of the fragments, and the appstore concept makes it easy to gate off apps that aren't supported on a given device, so it's not left up to the purchaser of the app to figure out whether or not it's going to run before they buy it.Android is the long-term smartphone platform. Not necessarily because it's better, but because it hasn't ever been locked to one hardware manufacturer, and how has the momentum it needs behind it. It's gone through growing pains with rapid releases over the past few years, but I would expect that to slow down in 2-3 years. When the default UI has matured enough, I also expect to see fewer handset makers forcing their own UI flavors on top as well. If you are old enough, you might remember custom manufacturer app launchers that were built on top of Windows in the early '90s (ex. Packard Bell Explorer).Again though, it doesn't really matter to me how many variants of the OS are out there, provided the apps still work. Better off with ten different skins of one OS, than ten completely different OSes that dont' run each others' apps.


    RIM has coded Android app functionality into the Playbook OS, and yet this was derided by the RIM detractors. There is nothing preventing that functionality from being added to BlackBerry OS 10, adding another fragment to the Android landscape.

    Stating your personal preference does not equate to future state. The F-150 has been the best selling truck in North America for 40+ years, and yet GM/Chevrolet, Dodge, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda are all still producing and selling trucks. RIM wants to license OS 10 to other manufacturers, as Google did with Android. Google, through its purchase of Motorola, has also matched RIM and Apple in now being able to manufacture their own hardware directly.

    Why do Android users and supporters accept an "immature" UI, relying on the hardware manufacturers to provide the necessary usability and functionality (an issue since the release of Android), but immediately dismiss, or attack, all efforts on the part of RIM to prepare OS 10 for release? Packard Bell and Acer were renowned for their bloatware experiences in the early days of Windows.

    Android has achieved market dominance by the sheer volume of handsets available, running the multitude of OS versions. Apple has carved out its market share by the slavishness of its devotees. RIM, the originator of the smartphone market, is in the process of revitalizing itself, but all of you detractors see that as a threat that must be quashed at all costs, and it makes no sense.

    I am a supporter, and user, of RIM products. I like, and prefer, the form factor, functionality, and the usable finished product. I consider the iPhone to be a toy and have no interest in acquiring, or using, one. I consider Android, both the OS and the associated hardware, to be an ongoing beta test that I am not interested in joining. Should the BlackBerry platform cease to exist, I will be forced to switch to Android, but until then I want to see them continue, release new products, and succeed.
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