We all know that Research In Motion is in some trouble and that it needs to do something bold to get back in the leadership position in the smartphone game. Could that bold move be licensing its BlackBerry software to the likes of HTC and Samsung?
That’s what Barron’s is reporting based on an analyst’s report and this also suggests that the Co-CEOs will be stripped of their chairmen position in favor of Barbara Symiest. With a new chairperson, RIM would finally be able to change leadership if it needed to and make a massive shift like licensing its software.
The specifics of the licensing aren’t spelled out but the analyst believes that some elements of BlackBerry 10, which won’t land until the end of 2012. The only reason I could think of for companies like Samsung and HTC to want to license BlackBerry 10 is to get a deeper foothold in the enterprise space, which RIM is still the leader in. Additionally, with Google soon becoming a full-fledged Android handset and tablet maker with the Motorola acquisition, this could give Android companies some more leverage.
Of course, we still don’t know if BlackBerry 10 will be any good or if it will be competitive with iOS 6, Android Jelly Bean and whatever version of Windows Phone is out by the end of the year. We know the PlayBook’s QNX platform had issues playing nice with RIM’s core enterprise services (e-mail, calendar, BBM), so if those bugs aren’t ironed out very, very quickly, any advantages of licensing RIM’s software would go out the window.
More than likely, is could just be an analyst speculating wildly but don’t be surprised if the chairperson piece of this story came through. What do you think friends? Does RIM need to license its software out? Would other companies even want it?