New op system could be phone maker’s last hurrah
Struggling Canadian phone maker RIM may licence its new BlackBerry 10 operating system to other manufacturers in a bid to plug the ever-deepening hole in its finances. CEO Thorsten Heins is reported to have told Bloomberg News that the new op, currently in the final phases of testing, may well be offered to other manufacturers even as RIM races to release its own devices based on BB10 early next year. Heins did not say whether those manufacturers might include other phone makers, but only last week it was reported that Samsung might be planning to buy RIM or at least licence the new OS – both claims which the South Korean manufacturer was itself quick to deny. RIM is hoping to turnaround its fortunes with BB10.The company has abandoned its old software to create it, using technology from its $200 million acquisition two years ago of QNX Software Systems.
The underlying technology is already used by the likes of Cisco, General Electric and Caterpillar, and even in military drones.
BB10, when its is released, will come with an improved web browser and the ability to switch between running apps.
Heins also revealed he is starting to carry a BB10 phone for his own use.
In the past four years RIM’s stock has plummeted by a massive 95 per cent as it has lost sales to rival makers, particularly Apple and Samsung, with investors pushing the company for radical change.