Speaking on the back of continued quarterly losses, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has refused to rule out the prospect of the Canadian firm selling its formerly dominant BlackBerry hardware brand, if the company’s upcoming BB10 smartphone OS and new hardware launch fails to return the brand to past fortunes.
"We do not want to limit our options… including the sale of the hardware production as much as licensing our software,” Heins told German newspaper Die Welt. Despite suggesting the pressure has now been removed from the ailing BlackBerry brand, Heins added: "The strategic review is still running.”
Revealing the company is now “debt-free” and has a healthy “$2.9 billion cash available,” the RIM CEO revealed that the company would look at all other available options before selling off its hardware arm, including the prospect of licensing the imminent BB10 software.
“Before you license the software, you must show that the platform has a large potential,” Heins said ahead of next week’s January 30 BlackBerry 10 release date. He added: “First we have to fulfil our promises. If we do, licensing is conceivable.”
With the long awaited, and repeatedly delayed BlackBerry 10 launch now a little over a week away, next Wednesday’s formal unveil is expected to see two new BlackBerry 10 handsets formally unveiled alongside the BB10 OS. Whilst the BlackBerry 10 London L-Series handset has been tipped to sport an all touchscreen interface, the leaked BlackBerry 10 N-Series handset has been said to feature the company’s traditional full QWERTY keyboard.
“In the smartphone market, which is growing fast, there is still plenty of room,” Heins suggested prior to the new handsets’ arrivals. “It will be shown at some point, how many systems the market can bear. I’m assuming that [what] we’ll play with BlackBerry 10 is not just a role. I think our role will be substantial.
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