I have been asked about RIM licensing BlackBerry 10 many times since Thorsten Heins took the reigns at RIM. At BlackBerry World Heins clarified his stance on licensing the BlackBerry OS which some in the financial industry have been pushing RIM to do. Heins response to one of the reporters asking “What RIM’s stance was on licensing BlackBerry 10” was right on the money stating that:
RIM wants to provide the best mobile computing platform. RIM is investigating many options around the segmentation of BlackBerrys to see how would they position BlackBerry 10 in the high, medium, and low end market. There are many discussions about it but we have not made a decision. It is all about where the right entry point is for licensing if they do it. First RIM needs to prove BlackBerry 10 then they will continue discussions.
Heins went on to state that RIM’s main discussions with licensing were mostly in terms of licensing to verticals. This is exactly what QNX does currently with cars, routers, and more in different industry verticals. I think RIM is on to something with that since they could bring the front end experience of BlackBerry 10 and Cascades to many other industry solutions.
RIM realizes that for other vendors to want to license BlackBerry 10 for phones they have to first prove the platform on their own. RIM is having the discussions that will continue after the launch of BlackBerry 10 but even then Heins was saying RIM needs to find out where it would fit in their portfolio. For example, would they license the OS for vendors to make lower cost smartphones for the emerging markets or headlining ones.