RIM keeps door open to sale of handset unit as it looks beyond phones

RIM keeps door open to sale of handset unit as it looks beyond phones

Summary: BlackBerry maker RIM could license its software to other companies or sell off its hardware production, according to chief executive Thorsten Heins, who has also hinted that BlackBerry software could be found in a wider array of products.


In the run-up to the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, Research In Motion (RIM) is considering a number of strategic options that could see it license its software to other companies, or even sell off its hardware production.

The company's chief executive Thorsten Heins made the remarks in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt on Sunday.

"There are several possibilities, which include the sale of hardware production as well as licensing our software. But there's no reason for us to make any rushed decisions," Heins said.

Heins said RIM would first see how well its BlackBerry 10 launch and devices are received. He described the launch as a crucial moment and a "milestone" for RIM.

Despite keeping options open, the company is not ready to give up on the smartphone market without a fight.

Heins noted that a lot has changed inside RIM since he stepped into the top job a year ago.

"The company has become leaner, which means we've reduced costs. Decisions are being made more quickly, and responsibilities have been redistributed. We're still in the middle of this process. We've even increased liquidity, even though people were predicting we'd be burning money. We're free of debt and have $2.9 billion in cash at our disposal," Heins said.

He also talked up BlackBerry 10's App World ahead of the launch, confirming that there will be around 70,000 apps in the store by the time the new platform is introduced at the end of January.

Despite the twice-delayed BlackBerry 10 platform arriving later than expected, Heins said the company now has a platform that will last a decade and can be used in more diverse devices in addition to smartphones, such as in cars.

Topics: BlackBerry, Mobility, Smartphones

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • App World?

    It's not called App World anymore.
    Susan Antony
    • would

      Would you expect a tech blogger to be up to date about tech?
  • 3 years max

    3 years maximum until you announce the bankruptcy. your technology sucks it's awfully slow and non user friendly. close your doors and run wth whatever you have left
    • How would you know?

      The Blackberry 10 is not even out yet!
      • when you see

        A comment comparing current BB phones to the latest & greatest phones out, the person either has no clue about the new OS coming in a few days or just a BB hater
      • And it loses potential customers by the day

        Which is incredible considering how low that figure is already.

        In such a fast moving market being so irrelevant for so long is death.
    • RIM's Demise So Oft Predicted In Days Of Yore! Ho Hum!

      You obviously and painfully know nothing of RIM or BB products over many years. Yawn!
  • well

    And they haven't even launched their salvation phone yet and now they are already looking beyond?
    • Yes!

      You shoot for the Stars. And if you only reach the Tree Tops, you're still above the crowd.
  • "Heins said the company now has a platform that will last a decade"

    Then the man is a fool. Only a fool would look with any confidence to the next 2-3 years; look back - the industry is still developing rapidly.

    Overconfdence in their outdated products is what took RIM to the rim; looks like they learned from their mistakes and can repeat them exactly.
    • Can't disagree any more!

      With tech and mobile being such a fast moving industry, you have to look forward. Those, like you Heenan, thinking they can rest now that it is released, would put them right back in the hole again. RIM's problem was, they were slow to react because they didn't foresee what was coming until they were already behind the 8 ball. I also believe QNX is the operating system that will allow them to change and add to it, well into the future based on it’s structure, and Hein’s team have to continue to look beyond Jan 30th launch date. The further the better!
      Ray (Canada)
    • QNX

      Obviously didn't take the time to find out anything about QNX. This OS has been around for years and probably runs a bunch of things you use. It's so solid it runs manufacturing operations, automation, automobiles etc and has for years. Think Google before you continue the RIM bashing with an uneducated comment.
  • Shutter the hardware business, as it is commodity these days

    The hardware business needs shuttered, and the BES Client devised as an App, like Good Mobile Messaging - for any popular handset. This is where the revenue is. BBX hardware will be a similar money toilet as the Playbook, and MS is moving in on the MDM market too, though Mobile Iron is the cross platform leader at the mo.
  • Rest In Peace rather than Rest In Misery

    I have strong feelings that RIM is on their way to RIP !!!!
    Ghassan Tayyem
  • Interesting...

    It's interesting to read the comments of the ignorant fanbois and fanboas. Fact is, BB 10 smokes all the current phones in speed tests. And BB phones have the best radio of any phone.