CEO hints that OS could be licensed to other manufacturers.
Research In Motion may license its delayed BlackBerry 10 OS to other mobile handset manufacturers, according to an interview with CEO Thorsten Heins.
“We don’t have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year. We have to differentiate and have a focused platform. To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than I can do it. There’s different options we could do that we’re currently investigating.” commented Heins. This means companies such as Samsung or HTC could churn out new phones with the BlackBerry OS snapped onto it. Of course Heins is quick to reiterate that the company will not abandon its ‘loyal’ customer base. “You could think about us building a reference system, and then basically licensing that reference design, have others build the hardware around it – either it’s a BlackBerry or it’s something else being built on the BlackBerry platform. We’re investigating this and it’s way too early to get into any details. We have to also model this from a finance perspective – that’s why we’re working with the financial advisers to see if we do this where would it take the company. Either we do it ourselves or we do it with a partner. But we will not abandon the subscriber base.”
This isn’t a complete surprise, given RIM’s poor performance this year and thus being forced to push its much-hyped OS to next year. The company has been struggling to regain market share, and is being dwarfed by current giants Apple and Google’s Android platforms.
Read the entire interview here.