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RIM CEO mulls over BlackBerry OS licensing deals

Beleaguered smartphone maker could adopt Microsoft-style licensing agreements with other manufacturers.

BlackBerry logo

Research in Motion (RIM) may license its new BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system to other manufacturers, CEO Thorsten Heins has told German newspaper Die Welt.

During the interview, Heins said a licensing agreement similar to the one Microsoft has with Windows was "conceivable".

"Before you licensed the software, you must show that the platform has great potential. We must fulfil our promises first. But if such proof is provided, licensing is conceivable," Heins said.

The beleaguered CEO was also asked why the company had taken so long to bring its next generation OS to market.

"We have taken the time to build a platform that is future-proof for the next 10 years," said Heins.

"Our aim is not only smartphones, but also cars, for example, which will be increasingly networked in the future. We see completely new areas of growth with BlackBerry 10," he added.

However, Heins remained bullish about Blackberry's prospects as a pure mobile device.

Asked if he thinks there is enough room in the market long-term for four mobile operating systems, Heins said: "We are a relatively young industry. The smartphone market is growing fast, so there is still plenty of room.

"At some point we will see how many systems the market can bear. But I believe the role we will play with BlackBerry 10 will not be just [a small one]. I think our role will be substantial."

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