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RIM open to selling handset business if BlackBerry 10 proves viable

News by Andrew Kameka on Monday January 21, 2013.

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Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins has openly flirted with the idea of licensing the company's software in the run-up to launch of BlackBerry 10. Heins today revealed that he's also open to getting out of the manufacturing business entirely and sell RIM's handset operations.

In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Heins said that RIM would consider selling its smartphone operations or licensing its software to other companies. Heins had previously stated that all options were on the table related to the licensing of BB10, but he now says that a sale is on the table as well. Of course, any potential change in RIM's business model is contingent on the successful launch of BlackBerry 10, which is set to debut January 30. If BB10 manages to regain some of RIM's lost market share or at least stop the trend of customers abandoning the platform for Android or Apple iOS, it would make BlackBerry a more attractive product.

Heins told Die Welt (translated by Google):

Before you licensed the software, you must show that the platform has a large potential. First we have to fulfill our promises. If such proof, a licensing is conceivable.

Should RIM decide to sell its handset manufacturing business, it would follow the path of Google and Microsoft and focus on licensing software rather than controlling both the hardware and software portions of the business. It could also decide to continue manufacturing phones and license to other companies, like Samsung or LG. Heins says the company will conduct a strategic review after it launches BlackBerry 10 and then assesses its options.

source: Die Welt, via: Reuters

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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