Research In Motion will release the Blackberry 10 mobile OS in 2012 and company CEO Thorsten Heins says RIM is exploring licensing agreements which would place the mobile OS on devices made by other manufacturers.
Speaking to the Telegraph Heins revealed the company’s potential plan, noting that the move could help the Blackberry OS increase its market share while allowing RIM to provide a business based OS for premium-priced devices.
Heins also revealed that RIM is already working with new business partners to pursue licensing agreements while at the same time tweaking the upcoming BB10 handsets to ensure a smooth user experience.
If partnership plans go forward RIM would likely create a “reference design” which would then be used by Sony, Samsung and other partners willing to create Blackberry inspired devices. A partner like Samsung with its OS know-how could mean users are finally given Blackberry device that offers excellent email/server capabilities while also sporting better consumer options.
Licensing BlackBerry 10 could most greatly help RIM in developing markets where the company experienced most of its growth in the recent quarter. By offering low-priced BB10 phones from third-party manufacturers RIM would be more likely to develop its market overseas at a much faster rate while taking on little of the responsibility for device sales.
In the meantime Heins has said the company has not decided to switch over to a different OS. Rumors circulated recently that RIM could end up using Microsoft Windows Phone or Google’s Android OS. RIM’s biggest concern with Android is that there is very little “wiggle room” when it comes to product differentiating. Even if RIM made the switch their phones are still considered more bulky and therefore less appealing to the average users while their device tech has simply fail to match that of Apple, Samsung and Motorola.
Would you buy an Android powered Blackberry device if it featured Blackberry business capabilities?