RIM mulls over hardware division sale and further explores BB10 licensing to other manufacturers

Rik Henderson
Thorsten Heins - Pic: (cc) Official BlackBerry Images

The launch of BlackBerry 10 is just around the corner now and RIM is still keen on the idea that the new operating system could find its way onto handsets made by other manufacturers. There is even the notion that the company could ditch its hardware division altogether and operate more like Google does with Android than Apple generally.

Speaking to German newspaper Die Weld, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said that the company still has ambitions to license BB10, but not before it has been launched successfully. "Before you license the software, you must show that the platform has a large potential," he said.

"First we have to fulfil our promises. If we prove that, licensing is conceivable.

Read: More BlackBerry 10 details revealed, as training manual leaked

It may be a strategy that defines Research in Motion's future, as Heins also revealed that one option being considered is the sale of its hardware production arm as it looks further forward. "There are several options, including the sale of the hardware production," he told Die Weld. "But there is no reason for us to decide rashly. It is important, first of all, that we successfully put BlackBerry 10 on the market. Then we shall see.

It seems that there is no rush to decide either way at present. As Heins claimed, since RIM's massive restructuring process the company has a clean slate. "We are debt-free and have $2.9 billion cash available," he said.

How it spends that cash will be the making or breaking for RIM and BlackBerry.

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