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Thorsten Heins: "To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone"

Thorsten Heins
By Adam Zeis on 2 Aug 2012 10:55 am EDT
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RIM CEO Thorsten Heins hasn't been shying from the media lately. He's given numerous interviews with us as well as other publications, the latest of which comes from The Telegraph. Among the standard banter around BlackBerry 10 that we're all getting used to, Thorsten drops an interesting line that hovers around the licensing of the BlackBerry 10 software. Speaking on the fact that RIM will release only two BlackBerry 10 handsets from the start, Thorsten said:

"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."  

So it looks like the option is still out there for RIM to find someone who would want to take on BB10 on a larger scale. There are still a few big names like Samsung that would likely fit that bill. Thorsten isn't saying that RIM won't launch two BlackBerry 10 phones in early 2013 (and more beyond), he's just noting that to crank out 60+ handsets a year they would need to license/work with other partners.

"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 ... "

Thorsten also says that it's too early to make any big decisions on licensing just yet and that RIM's financial advisors will have to weigh the benefits of doing so. 

But is Thorsten Heins seriously thinking about making 60 handsets??

What do you think - would licensing BB10 at this point be a good move for RIM? Sound off in the comments.

Source: The Telegraph

125 comments

Berry-the-Black_Trollsbane

Who wants 60+ new handsets a year? Kevin could never keep up.

drmike

What are all the people that are junkies for unboxing do with only TWO phones?

I love the idea personally...just make what works. I know that there are markets for things like Curve, Tour, and all the others but just make a phone with virtual keyboard and one with physical. Makes total sense.

BruvvaPete

Cripes. I was fully prepared for them to go at it alone. Like a kid, I don't know if I want to share. I guess if it makes money it's ok... I think

_BB10_

SAS = huge margins. If BB10 will truly be the best OS on the market at launch, license it and overtake Android and iOS to be the #1 OS. Let go of hardware because margins are increasingly thin anyway.

BruvvaPete

No one builds a qwerty phone like RIM. Hardware stays.

diegonei

And who said the strategies are mutually exclusive?

License the OS for the "phone tonnage" and keep the hardware division and built home made, top notch, best experience possible devices.

One qwerty and one touchscreen. Let the partners come up with flip phones, sliders and whatnots.

just_luc

Quote:

"And who said the strategies are mutually exclusive?

License the OS for the "phone tonnage" and keep the hardware division and built home made, top notch, best experience possible devices.

One qwerty and one touchscreen. Let the partners come up with flip phones, sliders and whatnots"

THIS THIS THIS!!!!!!

I still want to buy the high quality full qwerty (actually I'd prefer a blackberry blade style slide) Blackberry version. By why wouldn't I want samsung or other manufacturers to switch from android to BBOS10? The more manufacturers making handsets for it, the more people using it. And the more people using it the more apps there will be available and the more people will be using BBM.. it's a win win. But I definitely would like to see RIM keep a hardware division and keep cranking out 2 to 3 quality handsets a year.

Also unlike android.. both in order to keep consistency, and to keep security lock down the software prior to shipping to these partners.. no HTC sense, no moto blur.. they want BB10 they run it as it was meant to be run. No bloat-ware.

JustinTheCred

And I only would buy a qwerty phone from RIM if it set up for landscape, not portrait.

SurrealCivic

Exactly.. SAS is huge margins, and it will allow RIM to bring the QNX-based BlackBerry platform to much more devices than just the ones they try to sell.

The QWERTY keyboard patent can be licensed.

HabsFan9860

...thing is that keeps me on a BB is the fact that it's not being fragmented like Android for instance...if they may license out the 'cheaper' varieties for the mass user who really doesn't know or care about stability...that MIGHT be OK..but then again if you start passing out BB10 it opens it up for issues, just like Android...even if they stick to making the two high end models themselves...I think the best case scenario if they can pull it off are 4 devices..two high end (QWERTY and touch) and likewise for say a Curve line...say a Bold 10, and a Bold 10 Touch, and a Curve 10, and a Curve 10 Touch...Android is messy...maybe this is why they bought Motorola...to try and operate more like Apple and RIM..if this is the case for RIM to go back the other way would make no sense at all...this is a company that has a lot of security minded clients, you can't stay at that level with multiple manufactures...may cost less in the short term, but more in the long term...look at BYOD for example, seemed like an easier and cheaper idea...but a lot of companies (IBM for ex) are finding that in the long term this isn't the case...RIM should stick with the original idea, less phones..just the core units, and a rock solid OS and the entire platform will be great...
BlackBerry Torch 9860
BlackBerry PlayBook O/S 2.xx.xxxx

Tumacana

This is the way to go! 1 or 2 premium handsets a year from BB Canada and license to other hardware manufacturers. Man I hope the make that happen. If they do, there's no stopping RIM and BB10 from overtaking market share away from the other 2 lames... Android and Apple.

SteelHelmet

I agree they should license it. The more consumers using RIM services the better ($$$) Although I'd stay with BB hardware as my device of choice because they always use great materials on the high end devices (Bold, Torch). I've held iPhones and Samsung GS2 phones...nah, they all feel cheap on the hand! Maybe Nokia would be an alternative, sexy Lumia with BB10? Would be awesome!

advil_yum

I'm finally starting to believe all the naysayers and doomsdayers out there. Sad.

Rootbrian

Don't believe that shit.

Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes

RIP RIM. I am jumping ship. "Then Leave", right guys? Like we told everyone else, and now look where that got us.

diegonei

Yes, exactly. Leave and find whatever suits your needs. What do you think EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US will have to do should RIM sinks? I personally gonna give WP a try if I am forced away from BlackBerry (but not before buying myself a BB10 phone).

"Then leave" isn't an insult. It's just the only thing one can say when somebody comes with the usuless "I'm jumping ship" comment.

birdman_36

"I'm jumping ship" comments are useful because it shows RIM the sentiment of a lot of users.

Blackberry_boffin

The delay to 2013 shook my belief but talk of licensing the OS is a positive in my book.
For a new OS, market penetration will be a tad quicker. It gives people choice too, you may like BB10 but not be a fan of RIM hardware. With more than one OEM's backing you will get several facets in marketing.
Lastly it confirms RIM have a concept they are sure is so good (novel) someone else will actually want to license.

3Dee

I know right? And especially worrying that this appears to be consideration driven by financial advisors and money and not a strategic consideration for the good health of platform. For those people saying that this is positive, don't you realise that this could just mean the BB os on horrible keyboards and cheap devices that bring down the reputation of BlackBerry? BB used to be all about exclusivity - carrying one was a status symbol. I still feel that way (even if others don't) but if the software is licenced to a 'down market' brand for cash then the BlackBerry image is finished.

dadathepanda

I refused to believe all the negative comments and "predictions" but now if I had to place a bet I would bet BB 10 will never see light of day in a RIM device.

Rootbrian

I think heins should wait until it's ready for production. I hope the media isn't lying about his statement, I hope they didn't just make that line up, because if they did, that will be disappointing. I don't read the news much anymore due to all of the negativity, biasedness and lies to hype shit up.

Plazmic Flame

Hmmmm, I don't like te idea of BB10 being licensed out to other companies. Samsung (most notably) along with other OEMs have turned Android into a sh!t show. The only devices that sell are the high end ones (SGS3, Gnote, etc) and the rest in the mid to low just piss people off. I don't want to see them do that with Blackberry devices.

If anything, RIM should have their two flagship devices; All touchscreen and Bold 9900 style; and then have OEMs make the affordable devices for their exploding markets that don't buy the high end phones.

Rootbrian

The gnote has gingerbread, not even 4.0. Lol

AVPTI

It's ICS now...but people are saying it ruined the phone

_BB10_

Naysayers and doomsdayers? This is good news. Entry into software and exit from hardware will return the company to profitability.

There's no money to be made in hardware. The cash cows are Mobile Fusion, BB10, BBM, and patents.

Go RIM!

DOCTOREVIL8

iPhone model of 1 phone twice a year.
Android model of a gazillion phones whenever, where ever, deal with it.

I think RIM should look at Apple's example. Maybe a full touchscreen and touch/keyboard twice a year. That's only 4 phones to worry about per year, up to 8 if you release new phones per quarter (memory storage aside). Keep everything in house.

AVPTI

Apple releases 1 phone a year?

aornoe785

Well, they release the same phone every year...but same difference.

MasterOfBinary

I lol'd... that's exactly true.

Connor83

I agree with this 100%. Apple does well with 1 phone a year and they could focus on just that. They also have the iPad and ipods. But every device gets an upgrade about every year from the last one. Android has tons of devices and tablets. They have many makes and models from HTC samsung lg huawei zte etc. So any handset maker can take the OS and throw it on. RIM makes Blackberry handsets and Blackberry OS. They should be able to make 3-6 devices per year and make them solid and wanted devices. Lack of devices has not been RIM's problem ever. They've had one for everyone. Lack of Marketing is what hurt them. No one want to buy a single device they do know about let alone 60 a year. And lack of marketing loss of phone sales loss of developers loss of devolopers more lost sales. I know RIM can recover. Market the shit out of BB10 and the devices RIM makes for them. Get the developers back on RIM's Market. Carriers have already said they need something more then just iPhone and Samsung. If RIM licened to Samsung, WM would have to be third not Blackberry. Carriers want a Great 3rd give them BB10 on a Blackberry device

kingbernie06511

Better late than never. They have too many challenges ahead of them (and it has been like that for a while).

-Late software
-1 generation late hardware (9900 doesnt get BB10, a nonsense but due to its dated CPU)
-terrible marketing
-damaged brand

at least if other hardware makers jump on board, that is one less issue they need to worry about.

travaz

I like the idea of RIM makeing 1 or 2 high end devices that can be the flagship devices. I also like the idea of letting other manufacturers make some devices. Its all about market pentration in the end. I think it would be a positive for a customer (and RIM) to walk into a carrier and be shown BB phones that are made by Samsung or whoever. The customer would choose the device on what the capability of the device is. Would be shown 2 phone that are basically the same and could compare the OS and it would eliminate the stigma that Blackberry has. Customer would see that a "known mainstream company" that makes really cool phones (Samsung, Moto, ETC)has a different option and the whole mindset of RIM is dead doesnt enter the equation. That way the OS gets looked at and compared solely on its merits. Its a win win if RIM can deliver the best user experience.

tayshun12

"We don't have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year."

what about companies that crank out 1 phone a year?
Trollololol but seriously I was looking so forward to RIM keeping everything in house with bb10. I broke my old android phone and was holding out for the BB10 device, looks like I'll be getting the new iPhone if I don't hear any good news from RIM soon.....

Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes

R.I.P to Blackberry London, etc. Hello Samsung Galaxy QNX

diegonei

I would probably buy one of those. o.o

Specially if it could use the stylus from the Note!

nej_simon

Licensing BB10 would mean more exposure, more users, more developers etc. A good idea IMO.

johnmarki

Your forgot to add IF. It would mean more exposure IF they marketed the product properly. It would create more users IF its not shoddy, fragmented garbage. It would equal more developers IF... (see previous point referencing fragmented garbage)

I will not hide the fact that my decision comes down to a QWERTY BB10 or iPhone 5, if RIM wants to let others produce hardware then thats on them, but you will NEVER, EVER see me holding a HTSamungorla BB10 QNX in my hands.

janeka

I guess you don't watch TV to see Samsung and htc commercials.

johnmarki

I watch plenty of TV (I'm from the US) and I know that RIM cannot be trusted to advertise their products correctly. I also feel that Samsung/HTC would have to essentially double up their advertising so they could pimp BB10 and Android phones on the market. This is in turn costs the advertiser more money for a product that is, (according to the article,) a lower end device. IMO this would have to cause some kind of tension or schism between the handset makers and their Google/RIM software suppliers.

thehairlesscat

Personally speaking, I don't see the need for so many handsets. I would do a slider, Qwerty, and a full touch and nothing else. I would then consider doing one "cheaper" model handset much later, if the first models are successful.

johnmarki

Your logic and reason is refreshing. +1

just_luc

I agree. these 3 are all RIM needs to do. But why not let others make as many as they want? if people buy them great.. more BB10 out there means more apps that we who bought the RIM devices can now download too. And we can still have all those who prefer samsung or HTC or whatever on BBM.. I don't see the downside.

blackberryto

Here is the reality of the market today. Apple and Samsung are killing it at the high-end. Nokia, HTC, Blackberry, Motorola and ZTE are doing alot of volume at the low-end, but no profits. HTC and ZTE and the slew of other Android guys like LG, Sony, etc. are starting to realize that although Android is free, they can not make money off it because Samsung has become Android. They are probably thinking about focusing more on Windows Phone, but they can't be excited about the fact that Nokia and Microsoft are so close - and Samsung seems like it will be putting some focus on Windows Phone this year because it is probably concerned about the Google/Motorola marriage. Bottomline, there are a few low-end smartphone makers who would probably be very interested in focusing on Blackberry 10. That would remove the need for RIM to focus on all of the low-end markets where profits are tough to come by (but still make profits from SAAS), and they can focus on making one or two high-end phones. And as has been pointed out, it would likely result in higher volume numbers overall for Blackberry 10, which will make developers more interested, etc. Its the right strategy and I think HTC is the right partner if they can swing it. Maybe these rumours of a HTC/Facebook phone have some truth, and that is getting in the way of a partnership. Samsung would be a great partner, but I think Microsoft is their second choice at the moment - no way they develop on 3 platforms.

cgk

Google isn't actually free, there are 'certification costs' that google charge if you want the google apps and also pretty much every major android OEM is paying Microsoft off for patent 'protection'.

The real problem is that why would anyone be able to make any decent profits off a high-volume, low-margin BB10 device which has a licensing fee?

The OEM would be in the same situation as they would be now.

scottae316

HTC make high end Android devices that are well received, I prefer them to Samsung. Samsung has Android, Windows Phone, and their own badda OS, so I do not see or want Samsung. HTC, LG, and or ZTE would be my choices.

just_luc

[deleted double post]

camera531

This is kind of a scary line, "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." I hope that doesn't mean ANOTHER major product delay while they look to license it out. It just kind of sounds like that. He didn't say, "to increase our volume, etc.", he said, "to DELIVER BB10".

febo2175

Your wrong...hence you dont read the article before your wrote this. He was responding to a question of getting BB's into more hands than the 85 mill that already have BB's. Note what he said before he talked about licensing... "Wouldn’t it be useful, even so, to open that community up to other platforms and build on its success with a wider audience? “We’re still looking for partnerships and new business partners. We’re running certain assessments around it but right now the focus has to be focus on BB10 and getting it out there. But look at the subscriber base. Don’t abandon them. We will be one of the future mobile ecosystems.” BB10 is coming no doubt about that!

johnmarki

This news is absolutely disgusting. It was BlackBerry or Apple that I wanted to stay with. If this happens, it limits me to one.

Just say NO! To Hardware and Software Fragmentation.

Joe257

Security suffers with that kind of fragmentation. Software reliability suffers, quality of hardware suffers, control over features and specs suffer too. It's a very messy game to play with little gain.

Hey, Apple sells one (1) phone per year. They don't give a crap how many droid phones are out there. RIM can market and sell 2 or 3 (a slider) a year. You don't need to compete with the 60 junky phones out there. Just make the best and only the best. Folks will want it because it's good, because price becomes less of a factor. Tell me, who csnut q price tag on cool? I see folks standing outside a Nike shop to buy the last Nike footwear at almost $400 a piece? Are they complaining about the price?

Shlooky

I knew RIM will have to licence BB10 to hardware makers...it's the only way! :-)

ciscobear

Not even worried about this. The bigger issue is the ecosystem, are the premium apps coming to BB10? Tired of these half dead apps for QNX.

johnmarki

I was just getting ready to bring this up. Excellent point. I would say that I'm worried though, because if this happens you will have a situation like the fragmentation of Android not only with Apps, but with Hardware. If RIM has trouble getting premium Apps now, then what makes people think it will be easier with fragmented hardware/software?

Thogek

Basically what I was thinking:
RIM has enough difficulty getting developers to develop apps for the BlackBerry platform (in comparison to the other mobile OSs). If RIM invites (and doesn't carefully manage) the kind of OS/device fragmentation currently complicating the efforts of many Android developers, RIM could actually make its developer-acquisition problems worse instead of better.

Of course, part of Android's problem with that is the wide-open customizability of the Android OS itself (which hopefully RIM wouldn't echo), but... still something to keep in mind, IMO.

Watching and waiting...

johnmarki

Great points. Hopefully this is just Thor thinking out loud.

aloofkid

I haven't sleep so my reading comprehension is not that sharp. What I understand is that Throsten wants to license the BlackBerry 10 because RIM don't have enough resources (or saving it resources as much as possible) to compete with other company who can make 60 headphones?

I don't think RIM needs to produce 10-20 products every year. Focus on two products Full-Touch BB10 and BB10 with Physical keyboard per year. I don't like RIM producing 4 kinds of BlackBerry Bold, 4 kinds of BlackBerry Torch and 8 kinds of BlackBerry Curve.

Two device is enough, make both device GSM and CDMA compatible and save all the resources.

cgk

The real issue is that without the economics of scale that come with decent financial muscle in the supply chain, how are they going to produce a Premium device which also has decent margins for the company - so far only Samsung and Apple pull off that trick and that is because they either have their own infrastructure (Samsung) or access to billions of dollars in cash (Apple) - RIM has neither of those and might end up in the same situation as Nokia - where their 'premium' device not only costs more to make than an iphone or GsIII but has a low gross margin on it.

The other significant fact emerging from this interview is it's clear that the only way that the emerging markets will see a BB10 device is via this licensing model, RIM have all but admitted that they simply cannot do it themselves and make it profitable.

Jonny-R

I'm not really sure that this one line he mentions changes anything. He's never said that he wouldn't look into licensing as far as I know. Blackberry are still aiming to release their two high end devices themselves for Q1 2012 right?

As long as it's kept as a blackberry OS (which it would do surely), it's not bad if other manufacturers could create different phones to help it gain traction. And any thoughts on if RIM would be licensing out BBM with it? I'd imagine so.

I just hope RIM will keep producing some quality hardware which we've all come to love.

_BB10_

Only time will tell, but no matter what happens, the current $6.94 stock price is a bargain.

sahil123

I think I actually understood what he meant. They've been going on and on about how BB10 is not a mobile OS, it's a platform. And with that it could possibly support various forms of smart phones/tablets/Hybrids. Since RIM is a fairly small company when compared to the likes of Samsung and Apple, it doesn't have the resources to put out 10 different devices every year, which is why they've stuck to a limited portfolio of devices and chose to serve the premium market. As for the low budget handsets and tablets, it does not efficiently produce a large number of devices on a large scale so as to quickly gain market share much like Android. Therefore they have decided to look into options that allow them to handover the hardware production/design to big companies like Sony and Samsung, and they can work on the premium market along with Software builds.

In order to rapidly gain market share they need partners, simple as that.

aornoe785

How dare you apply logical thinking and correctly interpret this comment!

RIM is doomed, this is the end, etc.

;)

febo2175

Great way to have your OS in the publics hand and then covert them to BB phones. Everyone will love BB10 and then want a true BB headset. I get it! Then you can charge a premium for your two or three headsets. I get it! Now RIM has to excute it's plan.

brhilaire

I'm not ready to share the OS. Was looking forward to boasting BB10 to all my friends on different platforms

menaknow

For the love of ***, just do not license it to HTC...

They have such a habit of doing just enough so they can release another phone.

At least Samsung wants to take on apple so they try to match or outdo...

Or piss Steve Ballmer off and get a device on Nokia :D

scottae316

Wrong... I would rather see HTC, LG, ZTE or just about anyone other than Samsung. No chance of seeing Nokia they will live or die by Windows Phone.

ferre_kun

interesting..though thor forgot to mention that US market is mostly consist of subsidized phone buyers. and most of 'developing world' new owners bought their blackberries in full price plus how much the local seller's took for profits.

but yeah, the damage has been done, the pressure is indeed already left alone too high. if RIM have more time and less pressure i'd recommend to cut the shipping cost by making factories near potential markets.

i really hope RIM won't fully license blackberry to other party to be sell under other name. worst thing i can take is licensing the manufacture and share the profit with third party but still under the blackberry name. though i don't think that'll satisfy shareholders. i fear there are people who learn from what they saw here and move in the background to put more pressure to thor. so much for conspiracy theory lols.

meh, i was about to take the latest blackberry OS7 offer here at my place. let's see how it rolls.

WillieLee

This article could have done a better job of placing his comments in context. He's talking about the low-end marketplace where players like ZTE are driving margins down. It would be better for RIM to address the higher-end markets and to license out the platform to the lowend. That way they can collect revenue from the data plans without destroying their margins.

scottae316

Good insight but I do not think that any hardware manufacture wants to be told you take the low end, we will keep the high end for ourselves. I think any deal will have to include allowing the licensee the option to make a high end device. If not you will get someone like Kyrocea who makes low end and poor quality phones which will not help RIM or BB10 compete.

Bobert_123

NO NO NO!!! BB os on BB phones only! If I start to see HTC or samsung bb 10 phones then Iphone 5 here I come, at least apple has enough confidence in themselfs that they keep their os to themself

GreyGhostRos

For the present financial state of RIM sure licensing the OS to others sounds like a good idea.. Just I hope they don't go and lisence it off to too many people and mae sure those whoare putting out phones maintain the quality of the hardware on which it will run.. ( /me pointing to the device mess I think Andorid is in)
And more devices == more users == more userbase for app devs == more apps..
But with good companies who hopefully will concentrate on quality over quantity I think it will be a good opportunity for RIM to rise from present problems and also gain a larger userbase..

Just my thoughts on it..

ksanfeliz

Rim just need 3 devices.

Low profile one=like the curve/any regular android

One keyboard/touchscreen device. With screen size of about 3.5 inches

One full high quality touch screen to compete with the htc one,iphone,galaxy,razr.

Just that simple. Just 3 phones, and every year or every 7-8 months updating their system plus showing new devices.

Showing new devices by this dates:
Beginning of each year
Back to school
Holidays
Pick one of those dates or maybe 2 of then.

And its not that bad licensing the os. Look at android, and windows have 3 partners like htc,nokia,samsung.

teamfoster03

At first I didn't like the idea. But after thinking about this I get it. BB10 FTW!

Bb phone should be the golden standard and I hope they make 1-3 phone that live upto the bb standard. Then let someone like samsung make the options and "cheap" versions. I can see this working.

experiment 626

As long as RIM keeps a tight rein on QC I see no reason to oppose licensing out the hardware. I wonder if Motorola would be an option. You can't argue against Moto's hardware quality.

travaz

I agree. Moto has always made good hardware. I just dont know if that relationship might be hard to strike because of Google. It all has to be about the end user. Bad experience = Fail. Good= Cha Ching! If anothe rcompany makes a bad BB OS phone it will taint the whole line. RIM has to manage this very carefully.

breakmedown

I think for them to keep up with the consumer market, they'd almost have to do that at this point. They don't have the consumer trust to sell handsets like Apple. But if they sell it to a handset manufacturer that could put it on the highest end phone that would make more phone geeks want to buy it, it could gain that consumer trust.

Though I think they should keep selling the Bold style phones to help drive the business aspect that has kept them alive for so many years.

Jake Storm

Why?
Why would RIM even consider making 60 hand sets a year?

One or two hand sets are plenty. Three at the most.
Take a page from Apple's book.

scorpiodsu

Honestly, I don't know why anyone would want to license it besides some of the smaller Android OEMs and even with them when they can use Android for free. Of course it would be less competition but not sure a new OS that need more developer support and better ecosystem would be a much better option. Just don't really see a company like Samsung or HTC licensing it and fragment their mobile device portfolio even more when they can spend all that money they would invest in building devices for this platform, and use it for better devices and enhance their current touchwiz and sense UIs. Just don't see it.

Mikhou

Here is the answer of the market : http://imm.io/yYZd

DaBear5

I would be really disappointed to see this.

raoul_duke

License it!
Many manufacturer can make alot of advertisement! Get as much bb10 devices in peoples hands as possible!
So the ecosystems grows and "the big names" need to make their apps for bb10.

Once the customers are used to bb10, you can easily concince them that rim makes the best bb devices

donnation

Anyone who views this as a shock has been living in fantasy land.

Ben1232

If you can't beat them...join them !

As a bb fan I don't like this route though. I

f this is the route RIM chooses, I'll buy a keyboard bb10 made inhouse and take extra care of it.

If bb10 isn't in house I'll buy a few more 9900's.

teamryan15

Maybe I am late but is that BB10 on a samsung phone in the picture?

gradyutama

whatever the statement,please kindly release the new device.

otaku2

Doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Apple tried that with MacOS (7?) and it didn't work. I *think* that the problem was that it slowed down their HW development because they couldn't change the OS without breaking the SW for all of their licensees.

newerguy

I think BB10 on devices manufactured by other manufacturers is an excellent idea - just think about all those millions of additional BB subscribers, and of course recurring monthly fees per subscriber!

RIM will make Billions per quarter!

stevedee

The scary side of this for me is that someone could put BB10 on a really cheap underpowered platform and when it fails, try and acquire the whole ball of wax because confidence in BB10 has bottomed out.

Curve 8330 CDMA (eww, I know, u/g to Torch soon!)
Winner of EA Mobile SE Playbook - rockin' it!

Superfly_FR

Money is in software ... yet I believe it's not a perfect timing to say "We don't have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year", even if true. Press and bloggers can kill with that ...

Lucky45

Kinda scary RIMM actually thinks they need to "crank out 60 handsets a year" to be competitive...

kerry6

I think this post was taken out of context. Yes he did do a direct quote, but attempts to inflame readers with the direct quote. I would advise all to read the whole article,, not just this post @crackberry.com, you'll get a better picture...

war-eagle75

Shaaaanananah, shaaaaaananah, ehhh ehhh ehhh, gooooood bye. Bye bye RIM. This will be the first of RIM failing again. I'm sorry but I was a huge bb addict but now longer. Ever freaking day there is always some new with postponements. It's unfortunate that RIM will never be again. They had a good solid software but lack the hell in keeping up with technology. You can thank your two hero CEOs for that. RIM, the next Palm!

war-eagle75

Btw just license out bbm to apple and android and they'll make a killing.

Syrous44

Ant going to happen as there are plenty of free im's that do as good of a job as bbm. If Rim licances it that means android and ios users will have to pay for the app or pay monthly fee. Why would i pay for something where i can get the exact same for free with one of the other im's. I think this is the only reason they have not done this already, no one is interested in taking it.

pghrox18

The bottom line is RIM missed a huge marketshare opportunity in the midst of their SW transition. They aren't going to be able to capture a lot of marketshare back without help. The media surely has been no help!

By licensing BB10, they'll now ramp up a non-existent OS SW $$ stream to help fund and rebuild development. In addition to that, getting millions more back onto the RIM network will broaden the benefits from an enterprise user perspective AND a social networking perspective with BBM.

The other thing to note is that in the past few years there have been some pretty significant advances in innovation in handsets. As this has gone at warp speed, it will soon start to flatten out, meaning the differentiation between one handset and another will not be as dramatic...the big difference will be in useability and usefulness of the OS. I've got a playbook and like the UI there...I think the proven QNX OS coupled with the TAT team gives me good reason to think that there is going to be some significant innovation in the UI that will attract the masses...at which time, you better have BB10 on a multitude of HW platforms and channels to grab the marketshare when the opportunity presents itself.

Given that everyone switches handsets every 1-2 yrs, a lot of the folks that may have purchased their 1st or 2nd smartphone 2 years ago may well be looking for a change come January...my hope is that RIM has something up their sleeve to 'freeze' the market in Nov-Dec to capture some of the holiday shoppers...early order discounts or such.

If they are not going to bust up the company, it's the only strategy that will get them back into the game in a hurry, capture marketshare and building the BBM network back up!

dantem142

Licencing BB10 does not mean success for the OS, take a look at windows phone, multiple hardware manufacturers, a fresh OS, but only 4% market share in the US. It may be a great plan for other countries however gaining market share in North America will not be as simple as everyone makes it out to be.

ksanfeliz

Wos, only have htc titan,nokia lumina,samsung focus 4g. Beside those 3 phones nothing is really great. Plus i believe those device are not dual core. And by windows saying no wos7 device can be upgrade to the wos8 basically kill any market growth for now. We cant judge wo7 by just releasing 3 good devices from abril-present and last month kill those 3 devices. WOS8 are going to be growing and your going to see then getting at least 10% of the market by next july. WOS is only on ATT, low device tmobile and an old one on verizon. CANT COMPARE to IPHONE3 OUT OF 4 MAJOR CARRIERS,ANDROID EVERYWHERE,EVEN BB OS7 EVERYWHERE.

NaijaBerry

I didn't understand the fuss about ecosystems and apps till i bought my first android phone (a gingerbread no less) as a second phone and it all became very clear. BB10 may be a great OS, i know the PlayBook OS is, but this means nothing in the real world if those two things are not dealt with "Ecosystem and Apps", there really is no escaping it if RIM ever wants to make people and their shareholders happy. As a business user of the BB platform I'm more than happy with my 9900 that really does do stuff, but users like me make up a tiny percentage of smartphone users. Getting the BB10 OS on other platforms with the same weak (or does it exist) ecosystems and apps market will not solve any problems for RIM.

johnmarki

I think you hit it on the head. ECOSYSTEM. There is NO BlackBerry ecosystem at all.

Syrous44

Bingo, and sadly it will take them at least 18 to 24 months to establish a basic one. By then will Rim be still around that is the million doller question. I hope they stick around.

black.rhino

I would love to see a blackberry galaxy note! The ultimate mobile solution!
Samsung licencing BB10 (unsupported rumour of course), would really be a win. Realistically, they are now THE android name right now, and it will take a few years to be dethroned (possibly by google's motorola aquisition)

A better alternative might be HTC, or Asus, who are not top picks in android.

randall2580

Lets just hope they don't put a BB version of touch wiz on it :-).

AFaquir

I think people are missing the point... I didn't interpret the 60 handsets a year comment to mean that RIM needs 60 different handsets... He means to achieve economies of scale, a company (like samsung, htc, LG) who crank out HANDSETS (not just smartphones) have more and arguably better production capabilities than RIM... So if RIM licenses the BB10 OS to one of these groups, BB10 phones (still likely under QC control of RIM) would be easier or more cheaply made than if RIM themselves kept building all the phones. So as some have already pointed out RIM could in fact make a high end QWERTY and Touch, at higher price points and similar margins, but leave someone else the responsibility and hassle of the mass produced low end, low price CURVE and Sliders... and maintain that margin... which does help and likely won't dilute the BB10 experience like the Android OS on multiple phones.

The concept of economies of scale is designed around the lowest price for production... so think of it more like RIM is borrowing the production facilities and pooling production costs, rather than selling a license to use BB10... or put another way, RIM is likely using bb10 as currency...

And for all those who say "Apple" builds only one handset... you are right, but apple also builds, iPads, iPods, Macbooks, and TVs and other computer components giving them a better SCALE economy than RIM has ever had.

vel4769

I think it's a great idea to license BB10. Most of comments posted here seem to come from BB loyalist so I can understand. However as a past BB user who left and checks in to Crackberry from time to time to see if anything new has developed with BB. This news is music to my ears. I also believe that many past BB users share my opinion and would welcome this. I would love to see a Samsung galaxy 4 with BB10 in it or for that matter any other handset maker with BB10. Just imagine the different styles and choices. RIM must demand quality products from the licensee so not to cheapen the BB brand. No disrespect to the BB faithful but the glorified pager look doesn't cut it anymore. Just look at the iPhone it's also showing its age. Times are changing people and you can stay with the old tired look and fade away or embrace the new. I myself can't wait to see BB10. I hope it rocks....

BigRedJim

Why? You know what I want? I want my hardware to outlast my contract! I don't need a new phone every two years. I need updates and bug fixes and reliability. As a business customer, I have to account for the things I do with other people's money, and buying new phones every year or two is in no way justifiable. This sounds like RIM is going to embrace the model of change for the sake of change, and I don't know that RIM's corporate customer base is the place to embrace that. The future of the company is in Mobile Fusion - encrypted communication, security, and device management. If they would concentrate on that, and solve the BYOD dilema of every CIO out there, and concentrate on devices that would last through a few development cycles, they would cement my loyalty, along with many others.

koool1

I go back to Apple - 1 handset.

RIM could compete with 2 handsets.

neilmann

I would defiantly buy a BB10 powered ASUS Transformer or maybe a Lenovo tablet. I think I would stick with RIM hardware for a phone though.

randall2580

So as I understand it BB would make the reference handsets, like a BB Nexus, and the licensee could then go ahead and make the BB Note or something like that - cool. Anything that allows more choice, more BB I am all for.

Have to admit though that headline scared me for a min....

kfh227

How about somethign between iOS and Droid.

Droid has way t omany phones. iOS too few.

BB10 should have maybe 10 variants at any one time. Even if licenses, the license shoudl be for one specific target device.

Sparro

Talk like this makes me think if they will even be able to deliver the two BB10 phones they are promising in the new year.
I don't know anymore... even if they manage to bring out the two phones as planned... I'm kinda thinking RIM isn't gonna last much longer.
And I'm not a hater, I'm a BlackBerry lover and user, I live about 2 hours away from Waterloo... just thinking like a realist for once.

Kornmatix

Personally i believe they should license BB10 but only if its done right. still keep it fairly exclusive maybe 1 or 2 other makers. I think Sony would be a good one to get on board if possible because they make great hardware and they keep trying and trying with android and getting nowhere. plus Sony has content blackberry needs and blackberry maybe could help with getting into carriers here in the US which Sony has a big problem with.

cajualaddict

My thoughts are even if it gets licensed, the manufacturer will still call it there own LG, HTC etc with a "bb10" os. It is still not a blackberry because blackberry is a brand name.

So it will be:

HTC Zeus running bb10 os

BlackBerry blade running bb10 os

As stated in some posts it is a platform that manufacturer can use. Even on Android people just got used to saying they have an android phone but really they have a Samsung, lg, HTC etc phone running android.

dandbj13

It sounds to me like T.H. is casting doubt on whether or not RIM will even be able to deliver BB10.

"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."

He is publicly admitted they might not get it delivered. That may not be what he meant, but it is certainly what he said. There needs to be clarification.

sofakingcdn

How about build a phone and let the consumers load what os they want on it, (android, bb10, etc..) Problem solved.

sidds18

I would be happy if RIM produces just one decent phone be QWERTY or Touch.
Iphone is a success and launched it when RIM was at peak...so prepare one but out if this world kinda of.

marko868

Smartest thing I heard him say since takeover.

RedPortiaOne

Thorsten Heins is a f****** Jackass. This dumb ass CEO finially gets off his high horse and admits RIM needs help. Too Little to late buddy. No BB10 sionara RIM. R.I.P.

__________________________
Playbook, the one and only

darkrunner

If you think Samsung is going to go with BB10 to combat Apple, you're an idiot. I happen to be typing this from my Playbook. Also own a 9800 Torch. I like them, but I am also a realist. If you need to bribe developers with free PlayBook and cash to develop for QNX, you might not be on the right track.

Syrous44

They might if sammy starts losing the battle, but they killed apple already. Thats why apple is suing sammy any way they can as they know they have nothing to offer thats better then what sammy is dishing. The iphone5 is catch up at best. The gsiii is owning and selling like hotcakes. 10 000 000 units sold in first 3 weeks. So I dont see them taking on bb10 anytime soon but never say never.

friendly1013

This is absolutely the right move. They have spent all this time developing what I believe is the future of mobile computing- an OS with the far future in mind. They are simply too small of a company to take full advantage of the asset which they have developed. They just need one or two major partners and this thing will be gangbusters- you can't guilt major software developers into buying in to your product. There needs to be an undeniable value which cannot be ignored. As Playbook has shown us, a great OS is nothing without developers- think Amiga in the late 80's. Blackberry 10 is Amiga. It is a superior product which no one will support due to lack of adoption.

If they can find the right partner, there is no reason that they can't win with this model. Blackberry lost because of their hardware, not the ecosystem. They were the preferred ecosystem until Apple, then Android overtook them.

If Blackberry 10 is truly the marvel I think it is, the only thing that will cause it to fail is lack of app support due to a small market share. They do not have time to wait and hope it catches on. This is QNX, folks- It powers your car, your satellites and your electric grid. There is no reason it should not power your mobile device, no matter who manufactured it.

friendly1013

... And it plays Android apps beautifully, as well as html5 apps, Adobe AIR (flash) apps, and native apps. It is made to integrate everything together- nothing like this has been attempted yet. We have QNX, one of the most trusted backend developers and TAT, one of the most trusted UI developers, as well as RIM, the most trusted and secure communications developers, all in one package. The future needs this- get it to them by any means necessary.

boots796

I've been a loyal BB user for eight years now but RIM has until January to show me something or it's Galaxy S III for this guy.

dancing-bass

I used to LOVE Blackberry, and I still like it. After all, my trusty Pearl 8130 was my intro into the smartphone world. I'm now on Android and I really like it too, although it has some drawbacks as well.

I think it's very smart that RIM is focusing on 2 handsets. Look at Apple. They have one mobile phone, which is only one piece of hardware. As such they can really focus on making sure the OS is slick, fast, and just works, The added advantage is that accessories all work just fine, because there is only one model to design around. (Of course if the rumors of the smaller dock/port are true this changes things a bit. Not much but a bit).

Now if you look at Android you have open-source. Which means the OS is licenced to manufacturers and the end result is somewhat messy. Yes, chances are good you can find a phone that is "perfect for you" based on price, size, specs, and favourite manufacturer. The downside is that there are so many different versions of Android out (some for phone, some for tablet, and different generations) plus so many different models -- even by manufacturer -- that things are fragmented. This is not nessisarily BAD just the offshoot of having that much choice available to the consumer

RIM is in a bit of a tight spot, so looking at the 2 extremes of the other popular OS's out there, it makes sense to adopt a narrow focus.

I understand Apple's fanatical approach to making sure everything "just works". The result is a very narrow focus on hardware, software, and this means enforcing a very closed ecosystem. Android is wide open, so you can find pretty much exactly what you want -- but it probably won't be as fully supported as an Apple product (unless you get a Nexus device)

I'm hoping RIM will pull out of this. I really like a physical keyboard. Actually, if I could somehow keep my Galaxy Nexus as it is and have a physical keyboard magically appear when I needed it, it would be pretty dang awesome. I'm excited to see what BB10 brings, both on the hardware AND software side of things.