RIM: Other manufacturers may want BlackBerry 10 too

At this stage in proceedings, you probably won’t need to be reminded in detail of the disastrous series of events and errors that have plagued Research In Motion over the last couple of years. When the clumsy reign of its former co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, finally ended earlier this year, and Thorsten Heins took over as chief executive, it was widely hoped that RIM had turned a corner.

The announcement of a substantial delay to its next-generation BlackBerry 10 OS – along with the all-new smartphones that will run the new operating system – seemed to crush those hopes rather swiftly. But Heins remains optimistic about the company’s future, telling The Telegraph of a possible plan to make BB10 a more viable proposition in the long run.

“We don’t have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year,” Heins explained. “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.”

So, the idea here seems to be to license the OS to other OEMs, but Heins’ explanation appears to actually undermine RIM’s ability to make BlackBerry 10 a success on its own. Indeed, he seemed to be hinting that, without some sort of licensing arrangement, BB10 may end up being prohibitively expensive for RIM alone to achieve its aims for the new OS.

Heins continued: “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 built on the BlackBerry platform. We’re investigating this and it’s way too early to get into any details.” On the face of it, this appears to suggest that the company is considering outsourcing hardware manufacturing to a third-party, potentially leaving RIM to focus solely on the software ecosystem. Given how much value lies in the company's BBM and email services, this might not be such a bad idea.

“We have to model this from a finance perspective,” Heins explained. “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.” But for the existing subscriber base – whose devices will not be upgradeable to BB10 – Heins’ referral to BlackBerry 7 in the past tense isn’t entirely encouraging: “We know that BlackBerry OS7 was a great platform – but it would not carry us to where we wanted to be tomorrow, with the full mobile computing experience.”  

Heins insists that RIM is “not in a trough”, and remains bullish on the company’s future, despite the challenges it faces: “We don’t have the resources like a Microsoft; we have to place one bet and make it right; we don’t want to go for an intermediate step. [BlackBerry 10] comes out in the first quarter, and I think a lot of people are going to be surprised.”


Source: The Telegraph  |  Image: CNET/CBS Interactive

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Gallery: Windows 8 RTM installation screenshots

Next Story

4G Playbook lands August 9th, 3 people are excited

23 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I think it might be a good idea to let others use the OS, doesn't look like they have much left to lose with them going in a downward death spiral.

"RIM: Other manufacturers may want BlackBerry 10 too"

In other news:

"RIM: Other manufacturers may not want BlackBerry 10"

Meaningless statement is meaningless.

The biggest question is could OEMs even sustain having a third or fouth OS to develop hardware for? Let's take Samsung for example. So far, they have Android, WP7 (and soon to be WP8) and Bada. Could they really stretch themselves to handle BB10 as well?

RIM don't exactly have a "Nokia" either - an external OEM that's going to put all of their eggs into BB10. Honestly BB10 is going to be a hard sell.

Of course, on the flipside, perhaps OEMs might look at BB10 as a means of becoming more profitable, considering these OEMs are struggling with profits on Android. Who knows - but I'd say these OEMs would turn to WP8 first before tackling BB10.

The Teej said,
The biggest question is could OEMs even sustain having a third or fouth OS to develop hardware for? Let's take Samsung for example. So far, they have Android, WP7 (and soon to be WP8) and Bada. Could they really stretch themselves to handle BB10 as well?

RIM don't exactly have a "Nokia" either - an external OEM that's going to put all of their eggs into BB10. Honestly BB10 is going to be a hard sell.

Of course, on the flipside, perhaps OEMs might look at BB10 as a means of becoming more profitable, considering these OEMs are struggling with profits on Android. Who knows - but I'd say these OEMs would turn to WP8 first before tackling BB10.

Apparently Samsung are planning to phase out Bada.

The Teej said,
The biggest question is could OEMs even sustain having a third or fouth OS to develop hardware for? Let's take Samsung for example. So far, they have Android, WP7 (and soon to be WP8) and Bada. Could they really stretch themselves to handle BB10 as well?

RIM don't exactly have a "Nokia" either - an external OEM that's going to put all of their eggs into BB10. Honestly BB10 is going to be a hard sell.

Of course, on the flipside, perhaps OEMs might look at BB10 as a means of becoming more profitable, considering these OEMs are struggling with profits on Android. Who knows - but I'd say these OEMs would turn to WP8 first before tackling BB10.

I could see HTC giving it a shot, as they are having a hard time with differentiating themselves in the Android market.

ibsan said,
The device looks nice...

It just looks nice.
In hand, there is nothing very interesting about it and as of now, although very early, performance is not sufficient. User experience is far from buttery smooth.

Ci7 said,
but who would went it? the market is saturated as it is!

RIM attempting to migrate to QNX is going to go down in history as the one key mistake that killed the company. It was an asinine decision at the time and their entire company has paid the price for wanting to partner with a failed, but "local", company like QNX.

And now they think anyone else will be interested in this garbage? Ridiculous.

excalpius said,

RIM attempting to migrate to QNX is going to go down in history as the one key mistake that killed the company. It was an asinine decision at the time and their entire company has paid the price for wanting to partner with a failed, but "local", company like QNX.

And now they think anyone else will be interested in this garbage? Ridiculous.

Agree 100% What they SHOULD have done was move to an Andriod based OS. They would have ported their apps giving it the same Blackberry feel and enterprise support, but with Andriod at the heart it would run the apps people want and been a generally more exciting device.

IF they had done that, say back in 2008-2009 I think they would have held onto their business customers. I don't know if they would have attracted much more consumer attention, but at least they would not be tanking like they are now.

If blackberry had moved to android , it would of had been shutdown long ago, Don't get me wrong , i love my Galaxy smartphones , but BB and Android are better left apart.

sphbecker said,

Agree 100% What they SHOULD have done was move to an Andriod based OS. They would have ported their apps giving it the same Blackberry feel and enterprise support, but with Andriod at the heart it would run the apps people want and been a generally more exciting device.

IF they had done that, say back in 2008-2009 I think they would have held onto their business customers. I don't know if they would have attracted much more consumer attention, but at least they would not be tanking like they are now.

fizman said,
If blackberry had moved to android , it would of had been shutdown long ago, Don't get me wrong , i love my Galaxy smartphones , but BB and Android are better left apart.

I don't see why. Everything RIM has been trying to get QNX to accomplish is already working on Android. It would have been child's play (comparatively) to have integrated the core BB code into the back end of Android or the new Windows.