Jan 05 AT 4:25 PM Dustin Earley 24 Comments

Analysts predict RIM to license BlackBerry 10 to Samsung, HTC, and possibly others


Research In Motion’s BlackBerry platform is a sinking ship. They’ve made multiple attempts at remedying the problems surrounding the decline in popularity, including everything from releasing new hardware with new form factors, to new software with access to Android apps. Nothing has worked so far, and with news that RIM’s modern operating system BlackBerry 10 won’t be out until late 2012, it would seem that the company is all but finished. But RIM could have a trump card ready to play at any minute. They could get Android manufacturers like Samsung and HTC to build devices with BlackBerry 10, putting more BlackBerry devices on the market, and helping bolster RIM’s lacking ecosystem.

According to Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek, RIM may already be in talks with manufacturers like Samsung and HTC to license BlackBerry 10.

We think some of this has already been started with RIM likely agreeing to license Blackberry 10 to Samsung, HTC, and possibly others. This would help create a critical mass for the ecosystem and maintain RIM’s monthly service revenue. It puts more pressure on the hardware business in the short term. Longer term, it possibly gets people hooked on the RIM ecosystem and may in fact allow them to sell more BB 10 handsets (if they are able to create compelling handsets).Peter MisekJefferies & Company

Talk of RIM licensing software is nothing new. Back in May of 2011, RIM announced that they would be providing the same security solutions their BlackBerry handsets enjoy to Android and iOS handsets. While that may keep RIM alive for the time being, they won’t be the only major players in the enterprise and government security field for long. Google was reported to be teaming up with the NSA to create a special hardened Android kernel that would essentially put RIM out of business in the field. And even if RIM did make a large-scale move to license security related software, it does nothing to support their own failing ecosystem. It only helps the competition.

RIM’s initial reaction to their lacking ecosystem was odd to say the least. Instead of finding interesting ways to entice developers over to their platform, they hammered out the software necessary to let Android developers port their apps to BlackBerry devices. One way or another, RIM wants to cash in on the success of Android. By getting popular Android manufacturers to develop BlackBerry handsets, they’d be doing just that.

Both Samsung and HTC have made a name for themselves in the wide world of smartphones. The name BlackBerry has become associated with old, outdated software and hardware. Samsung, however, is anything but. Their products are constantly introducing the latest and greatest mobile technology has to offer, something RIM needs in order to stay afloat. Not only would RIM be using Android manufacturers like Samsung and HTC to raise BlackBerry 10′s popularity, they’d be taking away some essential resources from Android.

Even if Samsung and HTC were to make BlackBerry handsets, they wouldn’t ditch Android altogether. But as both companies are faced with limited resources, it only makes sense that they would have to take some development away from Android. You then have to wonder if app developers and other similar manufacturers would follow suit.

Right now, picturing a Samsung Galaxy BlackBerry seems crazy. But it is entirely possible. Just remember that even if a device like that ever sees the light of day, a bigger, better Galaxy S IV will be right around the corner.

Source: BGR

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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    • zerosix

      That won’t happen.
      Blackberry phones are made for blackberry services, which are orientated for business.
      Licensing BB10 to other manufacturers means weak places in the security.

      • aranea

        You mean all the bugs Touchwiz and Sense UI will bring to BB ;) And then upgardes and updates taking months to reach and some not reaching at all to the customers because these UIs are too bulky and buggy. That’ll be funny :D

    • Alankrut Patel

      Or better yet, Google can buy them for patents. Since they are dead anyways :-P

  • taketheleap

    Licensing the software will not save RIM. They’ll be bought or bankrupt by the end of 2012 (the same time BB10 is due to “be ready”).

  • WarDrake

    The only thing i’d like from RIM is their BBM API for Android…

    • AsakuraZero

      this^ they should stop being a hardware company and develop only software and BBM its a … pretty good platform for chatting

    • the rock

      there is a bbm api (app?) for android?

  • oddball

    Google should buy RIM out. They are a dying company but they have many useful patents (for the patent wars) and they have shown a lot of innovation in their time. If they could get RIM and Motorola working together in the Android ecosystem it would probably be a big bonus to overall ecosystem.

  • Arturo Castro

    RIM should have accepted amazons offer.

  • JH

    RIM should just give in and start making phones with Android

  • enoch161

    Sorry RIM. It just might be a tad too late.

  • Nathan D.

    They really are down in the dumps for them to go do this, if they do this.

  • aranea

    Well may be this way Samsung and HTC will release fewer phones and support existing ones more.

  • droilfade

    ” One way or another, RIM wants to cash in on the success of Android.” Man, They must be outta their minds! Lol….

  • http://pryvateid.tumblr.com pryvateid

    It could help them, who knows. People thought Android would flop, especially w/ Apple & iPhone owning the smartphone market. But, being open source, & allowing their software to be used by a bunch of manufacturer’s has helped them to where they are now with over 40%+ in Smartphone marketshare. You never know…

  • auronblue

    This won’t save RIM. They probably put out this rumor to temporarily raise their stock prices. I don’t see any incentive for Samsung or HTC to invest in the development and marketing of these devices.

  • jamal adam

    Instead of trying to license Blackberry 10 why not just join the Android bandwagon and they might have a shot at not going bankrupt and shutting down.

  • danielmkim

    This is the first step for BB. Better late then never.

  • Gh0st665

    I hate to spoil the “we hate RIM” party, but BlackBerry isn’t dying anytime soon. Yes, in the US market, BlackBerry is a unwanted device. However, in other world markets and in the corporate sector, BlackBerry is very much alive and kicking.

    • iamXiV92a

      Problem is, RIM needs to have a device, ANY device that’s actually running Blackberry 10 (like yesterday). Unfortunately they don’t, not even a prototype (according to numerous articles)

  • n25philly

    If they take resources away from making android phones how will Samsung manage to keep getting their phones released in the US in such a timely manner?

  • DroidPower

    Not sure if Samsung and HTC or other android device makers would do this… doesn’t make that much sense for them to divert resources to implement an os that is more or less on its way out.

  • GrandMaster

    RIM is not going anywhere, in the emerging markets/countries the BB is much well loved and respected. In Nigeria for instance the BB is virtually the base phone, then other makes as second phones. RIM has a ready and willing market in Africa. I use my lowly curve for business and am handicapped without it. I see RIM’s methods as primal, blue blood if you like. Android? its ok but just prone to all sorts.