Discuss:RIM Continues To Mull Licensing BB10: "Either we do it ourselves or we do it with a partner"
London- Research In Motion's CEO Thorsten Heins sat down with The Telegraph to talk about the current focus of the company, and how it plans on utilizing its new operating system BlackBerry 10. The man responsible for the success BlackBerry, is still maintaining his confidence in his company, “were not in a trough” said Heins.
RIM's CEO may have confidence in the company, but others are beginning to wonder if the company really has what it takes reclaim the consumer markets where it has fallen short. With a little over six months to go before the arrival of BB10 some are finding themselves impatient, torn between signing a new contract with their carrier and purchasing a new device, or holding out until the release of a BlackBerry 10 device.
Regardless RIM is well aware that changes are needed and that consumers are now hungry for a device from RIM that changes the way they think about BlackBerry. A step away from RIM's traditional based BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10 will provide “ true multitasking” and a wealth of new user features. This is something BlackBerry users have been wanting for quite some time.
BlackBerry OS 7
BlackBerry OS 7 was revealed over a year ago and hasn't received a warm welcome from consumers, but it is doing well within the BlackBerry community and is slowly being implemented by some organizations. BlackBerry OS 7.0 and OS7.1 provide many new features like, mobile hot spot, NFC, a speedy browser backed by HTML5, and the ability to utilize some new enterprise features like BlackBerry Balance.
Although BlackBerry OS 7 devices are a step in the right direction they simply lack the “wow” factor that engulfs many consumers today. BlackBerry OS 7 does have an important role in the success of RIM. It has to carry RIM over until the launch of BB10. RIM does recognize this and is working hard to promote and sell OS7 devices. “We know that BlackBerry OS7 was a great platform – but it would not carry us to where we wanted to be tomorrow, with the full mobile computing experience,” said Heins
This is RIM's future; BlackBerry 10. “We have to place one bet and make it right; we don’t want to go for an intermediate step. It comes out in the first quarter and I think a lot of people are going to be surprised.” This is one bet that you can be sure that RIM wants to double down on. BlackBerry 10 is one area that RIM has been furiously working on and has been getting everyone evolved.
A large part of BlackBerry 10 success will depend on the the amount of application made available upon launch and developer interest in the platform. RIM has been encouraging developer interest through its BlackBerry 10 JamWorld Tour, and smaller events like BlackBerryJam Sessions. Here developers can learn about BB10 and connect with resident experts from RIM for help with creating applications for BB10. RIM has also introduced BlackBerry 10 to developers through its Dev Alpha device, which allows them to test their applications on a watered down version of the BlackBerry 10 operating system.
Its clear RIM is well aware of the importance of the success of the BlackBerry 10 platform “The teams are working relentlessly day and night, at the weekends – it’s a once in a decade change that will see us through the next ten years.” said Heins Heins also added that the majority of the work going into BB10 was, building the “platform around it”.
RIM is facing tough competition. It's competitors have shown no mercy to the mobile giant as it attempts to regain its top spot as the worlds largest smartphone manufacturer. “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.” “We don’t have the resources like a Microsoft;” RIM is looking to differentiate themselves from the competition. Once, again this is where BlackBerry 10 comes in, this is what RIM is counting on BB10 to do.
So what options is RIM looking at in order to make sure that BlackBerry10 is a success? The option of licensing Blackberry 10 has been a hot topic since late last year. Smartphone makers like Samsung, Microsoft, and Nokia have all been rumored as possible partner in BB10 licensing. But is this even an option for RIM? It is. RIM is looking at every possible avenue in order to make BB10 a success and this does not rule out the possible licensing of BB10.
“You could think about us building a reference system, and then basically licensing that reference design, have others build the hardware around it – either it’s a BlackBerry or it’s something else being built on the BlackBerry platform. We’re investigating this and it’s way too early to get into any details. We have to also model this from a finance perspective – that’s why we’re working with the financial advisers to see if we do this where would it take the company. Either we do it ourselves or we do it with apartner. But we will not abandon the subscriber base.” he added.