Feature Article

August 15, 2012

RIM to License BlackBerry 10, but Smartphone Chances May Still be Slim

Those following recent reports will know that Android and iOS are the kings of the smartphone world by a huge margin. In fact, Android's share rose recently to hit 64.1 percent worldwide market share in the second quarter of the year, also claiming almost half of the U.S. smartphone market. Apple's iPhone hasn't been giving ground, though, and so most of Android's recent customers were former BlackBerry or Nokia users.

As BlackBerry's fate gets darker, Research In Motion has started to consider alternate methods of income — namely, licensing.

The release of BlackBerry 10 (BB10) is on the horizon and initial previews have shown that it will be an advanced platform. Meanwhile, the Thorsten Heins, RIM CEO, has been considering licensing for quite some time. However, despite rumors that Samsung or Sony may be interested in making BB10 handsets of their own, the real answer may be the mobile computing and M2M market.

BB10 is built on QNX software after all, which is already licensed in the automotive sector, suggesting that it would be easy to transition BB10 in the same way. It's still too early to say what exactly will happen, however. Some analysts are saying that RIM shouldn't place too much hope on licensing to other smartphone manufacturers, though.

As Yankee Group senior vice president of research, Wally Swain, said in a statement, "RIM must be thinking of Samsung, LG, HTC or someone who can create a device that captures the public's imagination better than RIM itself. As we have pointed out before in connection with a possible purchase of RIM itself, Samsung already has more OS's in the stable than it needs and has to be focused for now on the Apple lawsuits.”

Adding, “HTC has financial issues and would be reluctant to invest the not inconsiderable R&D to adapt its Android-based platforms to RIM's OS. LG has financial issues as well but it at least has a rich parent."

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile Internet ecosystem? Don't miss the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Mobility Tech Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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