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RIM CEO Says Company May License BB10 to Other Manufacturers

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Will it someday be possible to buy a Samsung or HTC phone that runs the BlackBerry operating system? The company's CEO has hinted that RIM may license the upcoming BlackBerry 10 (BB10) to other smartphone manufacturers.

Mashable's Pete Pachal reported, "Research in Motion could end up applying the Windows model of licensing its mobile operating system to other hardware manufacturers after BlackBerry 10 gets off the ground, the company's CEO told a German newspaper. RIM may also get out of the hardware business altogether at some point. The German national newspaper Die Welt published a lengthy Q&A with RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, in which the leader of the beleaguered Canadian company said he was keeping all options on the table to steer the company toward success. When asked directly about licensing BlackBerry 10, Heins said it was 'conceivable' if the platform showed the world it has 'large potential.'"

CNET also quoted Heins, who said, "We have taken the time to build a platform that is future-proof for the next ten years. Our aim is not only to smartphones, but also to the use, for example, in cars that will be in the future increasingly networked. We see with BlackBerry 10 completely new areas of growth."

But Ewan Spence from Forbes took a negative view of the idea, writing, "Well that’s a bad idea right there. RIM may be many things, but they aren’t a Microsoft or a Google. Having their new BlackBerry 10 OS appear on rival handsets would bring RIM a huge amount of structural upheaval, for little immediate financial return and potentially damaging sales of their new handsets… handsets that need to re-establish RIM as a major player in the smartphone world."

Meanwhile, BGR's Jonathan S. Geller published leaked photos of a purported BlackBerry Z10 handset running BB10. He claimed, "Research In Motion’s (RIMM) launch event takes place in New York City on January 30th and on top of debuting the new OS, the company will formally announce the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry X10 smartphones. Lastly, we have heard that RIM is planning to launch the BlackBerry Z10 at a price point that’s under the standard $199 price tag for a flagship phone, so expect something at $149 or below with two year agreement."

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