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RIM considers licensing out BlackBerry 10 OS

Research In Motion, the embattled BlackBerry manufacturer, is once again considering licensing out its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 software, according to reports in Germany.

The launch of the long-awaited platform update is due on 30 January, with a range of new handsets set to accompany the revamped operating system. RIM endured a miserable 2012 with numerous delays to the BB10 release punctuated by tales of financial loss and declining market share, making this year a do-or-die chapter for the company.

To boost its chances of a revival it seems RIM is again weighing up the possibility of licensing out the BB10 software to other hardware manufacturers, with CEO Thorstein Heins (pictured) calling the move “conceivable,” if it shows initial signs of succeeding in the market.

Translated via Google from German site Die Welt, Heins says in an interview, “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.”

It is a proposition Heins has been mulling over for some time. Entertaining the idea back in August, he admitted, “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,” he said.

BlackBerry fans have been closely monitoring speculation ahead of the BB10 launch, with a series of leaks providing hints over what the handsets may look like. Given BlackBerry’s long-standing corporate presence, the business side of the fence will also be keeping an eye out for 30 January, and we recently analysed whether new security features could be the key to RIM regaining dominance in this sector.