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Thorsten Heins Reiterates that RIM is Considering Licensing BlackBerry 10

Thorsten Heins RIM

RIM and Thorsten Heins have made it clear multiple times in the past that they are considering licensing BlackBerry 10. Today the news seems to have made a resurgence thanks to an interview with Thorsten Heins with the Telegraph. When I read that section of the interview I did not think twice about it but since it is news today I thought it would be worth sharing a few tiny details that Thorsten added. We now also know that RIM is still strategically considering licensing.

Here is what Thorsten told The Telegraph:

Indeed, RIM will launch BB10 with two devices that are crucial to its survival and only one will have a keyboard. The more expensive device will be a touchscreen. Heins is keenly aware that he must get cheaper devices into the mainstream. “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.”

That raises the prospect of a BlackBerry phone that is made by, say, Samsung or Sony. “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.”

6 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Thorsten consider this….

    Not a single OEM will want that OS. It is this simple, when a company advertises a new “app” there are two logos. iOS and Android. There isn’t room for anyone else. If there was Microsoft would be showing up right about now.

    Your current plan will end the same way Palm did. PLEASE think about another direction.

    Forget about the OS. Sure you want to make revenue from the App Store but its just not going to happen.

    RIMM used to do a few things great, 1) Build outstanding hardware, 2) Best in class keyboards, 3) Best in class PIM (personal information management) software.

    Well guess what, Android SUCKS in all of the places you used to excel. Dump all your models and go to two. One with a keyboard, one without. Run Android. Valnia Andorid just like then Nexus (plus missing drivers) then preload the worlds best PIM software on it to replace Androids single greatest weekness. Only offer these PIM apps on your hardware. Allow those apps to work with both BES AND Active Sync.

    Why support Active Sync too? Well easy, next year will be the year most IT org’s remove BES from their environments. Not that it isnt more secure but in a world of iPhone and Android you are not going to have alot of IT shops renewing costly software and keeping hardware running just for BlackBerry. Work with Both, it will give users the option of normal active sync or more secure BES.

    Just my thoughts on the ONLY WAY TO SAVE YOUR COMPANY which I used to love so much.

  2. Agreed. Licensing out the software dilutes the brand; just ask Android. RIMM will lose their security advantage.

  3. @ Eric, the current blackberry OS already support Active Sync.

    The reason people would want the OS is because of what drives it, QNX. That can do more with apps then iOS(ucks) or Android (whatever iteration of food group its at).

    QNX powers infotainment systems in cars now, who needs an app when you have a mobile system that can fully integrate to your car via bluetooth, transfer your information, reads your texts and answers emails for you all hands free, uploads info onto your computer via active sync when you get to your home or office computer.

    BB10 isn’t about phone software, it’s the next step towards fully integrated mobile computing. It doesn’t have to live in its own wall garden like iOS or have 20 zillion iterations of Android.

    When a developer develops an app for BB10 it will work on all the BB10 phones and all the playbooks without fixing screen resolutions, os versions.

    That’s why the possibility of licensing out software.

    There is nothing in that article that talks about apps. He’s talking about hardware at the moment.

  4. @PB Forever I can respect that view. Also thank you for pointing out the support for Active Sync. I was not aware of that and I think that is a great move for RIM.

    I don’t mean to say he is speaking of the apps but that is what it will come down to. The herds of mindless consumers are already in the walled garden and even if BB10 is the very best OS ever released and works with my car, fridge, and toaster it wont be successful. IMO because the mobile OS war is already over and you have Apple and Google and there is no room for anyone else.

    The consumer drives the market, the consumer more than anything want’s great apps. “Great” being defined by the mindless herd not by those who can tell any better. Apple and Android are and for the foreseeable future will be where those apps are. This is bigger than a platform and its app developers. It spans to unrelated consumer products and Services that have apps. Tivo, Hulu, Comcast, U-Verse, Remote Control helicopters, LogMeIn, GoToMeeting, etc… the list goes on. The problem as I see it as those consumer services will not write a BB10 App. That means when mindless consumer figures out their next mobile device they will gravitate to the platform that has the app that does “x” not BB10.

    All in my opinion of course. I think QNX as a concept rocks. If RIM would have started working on it 8 years ago directly after the iPhone release they might have taken the Andorid slot. But they didn’t, they had poor business sense for their own market and now they will likely die very slowly because of it.

    • Eric in the mobile computing platform there’s always room for more then 1 or 2 platforms. If there wasn’t MS wouldn’t have purchased Nokia.

      As for the apps you’re talking about, Comcast, U-verse, these are all US apps that are irrelevant outside of USA. They may mean something to the US customer but not necessarily to a Canadian, European or middle east/Asian customer.

      Gotomeeting is already available and loaded on my BB9900, The PB can get Citrix

      The fallacy for many people is that they think they need an “app” for that. When Google stopped their support for the BB app people actually thought that BBs can no longer get gmail without realizing it’s now baked into the OS. It’s so crazy, even my banker said to me “why does everybody think they need an app for everything??”

      The iOS has only made incremental changes in the pass three to four years. Google can’t maintain any stability or integrity from one food iteration to another. An app build for honeycomb or whatever they called it 6 months ago won’t work on the ics version once the consumer upgrades their devices… The recent nexxus tablet is not even a viable business tool, it’s more of a direct competition to the Kindle Nook or Amazon Fire.

      It would do very little for innovation if the consumer mobile computing if consumers are only given 2 narrow defined choices.

      As for QNX it’s been around longer then iOS or even Google. This is real time os built to run nuclear plants and guided missle system. The whole infrastructure of the QNX is so far beyond what iOS or Google is even capable off it’s not even funny. Thus BB10 will probably run the apps better then Google can run them. The PB already runs
      android apps without breaking out into a sweat.

  5. Well I may not agree with all of your point of view I definitely understand where you are coming from. For RIM’s sake I really hope I am wrong.

    Definitely going to be an interesting 36 months ahead.

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