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RIM is looking at licensing BlackBerry 10

Previously, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has vehemently denied that his company was pondering the possibility of licensing the BlackBerry operating system to other manufacturers. Now, he’s told The Telegraph that RIM is doing exactly that — paving the way for future BlackBerry devices built by the likes of Sony or Samsung.

RIM can’t churn out dozens of handsets a year like some companies, said Heins. In order to get BlackBerry 10 out to the world at large, RIM needs to consider its options — one of which is licensing the OS the way Microsoft does with Windows Phone. Heins also noted that RIM could develop a reference phone and leave mass production up to others. That’s the path Intel took to get the first Medfield-based Android phones onto the market, with partners like Lenovo jumping on board and shipping finished hardware.

When RIM’s first BlackBerry 10 devices launch in early 2013, they’ll be premium devices aimed at the top end of the consumer market. It might make sense, then, to let others like Huawei or ZTE pick up the slack and roll out BlackBerry devices aimed at emerging markets and entry-level budgets. The trouble is that’s where RIM is succeeding at the moment, so it could be tricky for the company to lead the way for partners with future high-end devices when it’s having a hard time selling those right now.

Either way, Heins says it’s still too early to get into any details, but admits that licensing BlackBerry is something that RIM will continue to investigate with its financial advisors. Investors have really turned up the heat on the Canadian company in recent months, and it seems that every quarterly report brings RIM closer and closer to loosening its grip on BlackBerry OS.

More at The Telegraph

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