RIM looking at rivals to build Blackberry 10

BB10, brought to you by someone other than RIM
BB10, brought to you by someone other than RIM

RIM is considering a significant shift for the company and license Blackberry 10 to other manufacturers.

It's no secret that RIM is struggling right now, with the latest evidence coming in the form of chief executive Thorsten Heins admitting that licensing the BB10 OS may be the company's future.

"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," Heins said in a published report.

"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," he added.

BB10 out of the trough

Despite the potential shift in business strategy, Heins is adamant that the company is "not in a trough."

RIM is not committed to a licensing strategy yet, as Heins clarifies that "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."

TechRadar's early impressions of BB10 left us impressed with RIM's direction for the OS.

However, it's difficult to say from an early build whether it will be enough to breathe new life into the Blackberry ecosystem.

A licensed BB10 device from the likes of Samsung or HTC probably wouldn't please the existing Blackberry user base, but it could be just the kick to foster wider mainstream support.