RIM to license BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry 10 phone
Who'll pick up BB 10?

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins all but confirmed Monday the BlackBerry 10 operating system will be licensed to other manufactures, putting to bed the "will they or won't they" speculation.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Heins said the company will be ready to license the OS soon.

According to Heins, the first platform is in final testing stages and RIM is at the point of considering how other companies can use it.

RIM is also preparing its own BlackBerry 10 products, expected to go on sale early next year.

TechRadar reported earlier this month that the company was considering licensing BB 10, but at the time Heins was noncommittal, saying RIM "may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a better cost proposition than I can do it."

From 'maybe' to 'yes'

He's since changed his tune.

"The platform can be licensed," he said in the Bloomberg interview.

BB 10 was built on QNX software, which is used in cars, nuclear plants and military drones. And looking at the OS's progenitor, Heins said a similar arrangement is possible.

First time for everything

Should RIM go through with licensing, it could spell big profits for the struggling corporation.

After speculation surfaced August 8 that RIM was looking to license BB 10, its stock jumped 13 percent and maintained gains for six consecutive days.

If RIM lets others build BB 10 products, it'll be the first time in the company's history that another manufacturer would be allowed to make a smartphone with a BlackBerry OS.

Though licensing looks like a sure thing, one manufacturer definitely won't be courting RIM to get a piece of the BlackBerry 10 pie.

Down but not yet out

News of BB 10 gearing up for licensing comes on the heels of reports RIM is trying to offload a cloud-services provider it bought in October 2011.

NewBay, which offers cloud services to operators and devices makers that deliver multimedia in handsets, PCs, tablets and TVs, was picked up by RIM for $100 million. Though it remains to be seen whether it'll recoup its initial investment, the extra cash won't hurt RIM's prospects.

As its sales and stock prices shrink - and revenue last quarter dropping by $518 million - RIM, under Heins' direction, appears to be setting a new course by not only developing its own systems and products but by bringing others into the fold.

Via CNET, Bloomberg and BGR

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.