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Analysts throw cold water on the idea of RIM licensing BB10

Posted: , by Scott H.

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Analysts throw cold water on the idea of RIM licensing BB10
Earlier in the month we reported on rumors that Research in Motion was looking to license its QNX-based BB10 operating system to other hardware vendors, especially Samsung and HTC. Sources speaking to Barrons supported the idea, and a later report to BGR on RIM possibly selling themselvse entirely also confirmed that RIM was looking into licensing , but now several analysts are throwing cold water on the idea. According to their view such a move isn’t consistent with RIM’s market history, and possibly wouldn’t garner interest even if they did want to license their new OS.

We aren’t convinced that RIM’s past preference to offer only integrated solutions ala Apple is necessarily a good guide for what they hope to do in the future – their market share isn’t exactly peaches and cream these days, so they may be considering strategies that in the past would have been shunned. More damning are the arguments that RIM may not find a willing market for their new OS.

Analysts from both NPD Group and Informa make similar points: what will BB10 be able to offer vendors that Android and WP7 don’t? The last year has already seen several high profile mobile operating systems get an end of life sentence, including webOS, Meego, and Symbian, so there may be little incentive for handset manufacturers to invest in yet another new operating system.

It’s also worth noting that BB10 with training-wheels is already on the market in RIM’s poorly-received PlayBook tablet. Unless sales and consumer satisfaction climb substantially after the 2.0 update that's expected in February, there will be no evidence to suggest that BB10 will be a winner with consumers, and plenty of evidence against it.

It’s still possible to envision a scenario where licensing of BB10 would happen – perhaps the update to the PlayBook is really amazing, and they’ve been able to impress OEM’s with BB10 running on demo hardware (although this would be at odds with reports that BB10 was still a long way from being finished). If Samsung or HTC thought RIM had a real hit on their hands, especially one that might prove more popular than WP7, it’s possible they would consider a switch.

But between industry analysts and consumer dollars, RIM isn’t getting many votes of confidence these days. Do you think RIM should license BB10 to other companies? Should Samsung or HTC take them up on it? Let us know in the comments section!

source: FierceWireless

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posted on 19 Jan 2012, 12:16 2

1. jamrockjones (Posts: 345; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


It's not the hardware that's dying, it's their software. It's not as user friendly as other OS's are. So what would really make the difference if another manufacturer made it. I think Blackberry is heading for an inevitable death, like WebOS, but in their case, when their OS goes down, so does their company.

posted on 19 Jan 2012, 12:27 2

2. snowgator (Posts: 3275; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


I don't quite subscribe to the "death" of Blackberry like everyone else does, just the end of the Blackberry experience as we know it. This is still a company with large stocks of cash to fall back on. And even though their BB7 phones have been disappointing (Although I see the Torch slider at the top of sales on Amazon for AT&T), their profits on those handsets are high, so they are recieving good returns even as they lose market share. This does not help their stock or market share, but gives them as much of a blanket as needed to keep them afloat for a good period of time.

I agree with your assesment on one point: Their software is done. Even if BB10 is good, it will not be developed enough to compete with Android and iOS. This was WP's shortcoming as they rolled out their new software, but they have BILLIONS in profits from other ventures to develop their OS until it gets competitive. RIM is only a mobile phone company, and one that is losing share too quickly to be able to develop this software with no other source of income to offset it.

No, I think this is the last year of Blackberry as we know them. The name will live on, but as a hardware only company or as part of another corporations umbrella after their assest drop to the point they are bought out.

posted on 19 Jan 2012, 13:08 1

3. downphoenix (Posts: 2378; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


BB10/PB OS is super intuitive. You can do virtually everything with an intuitive gesture, even turn the screen on! (which is awesome, but you do have to be careful with wiping it LOL).

Yes traditional BBOS is lacking, but it is an outdated platform that's been built on top of for longer than iOS or Android have been on the market, this refresh is exactly what they need. All the negativitiy surrounding Blackberry by these hecklers must be making them a lot of money, they are profiting off of the decline of blackberry and increase in Android/iOS surely.

Look at the facts. Blackberry has lost about roughly 10% of the total marketshare over the past year, but how much has the market grown in that time? Factor in the growth in the smartphone segment and you'll see the actual loss is overinflated. Their latest quarterly earnings statement still had a net profit, despite a $485 million writeoff for unsold/marked down Playbook inventory. They have not had a single quarter where they had a net loss despite this decline they've been. And yet their stock has dived what, 85/90% in the same period? If that isn't speculators and manipulation at work, I dunno what is.

posted on 19 Jan 2012, 16:39

5. snowgator (Posts: 3275; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Your points are valid, downphoenix, and I understand them. But, perception becomes reality in the corporate world, and the Playbooks lackluster reception has done nothing to bolster the RIM position. BB7 is looked at as stop gap only, and only the Crackberry crowd was excited. Businesses are adopting the iPhone as they drop Blackberry, and even the Military and Federal Government have Android and Apple devices approved or in approval. These are all points that have resulted in the stock flat-lining. RIM needs a HIT, something to get investors and mobile enthusiasts excited. They need a sense of urgency. Yet, there is near silence and very little movement from RIM. Without that hit, the perception is Blackberry cannot compete. Not sure that is speculation or manipulation, but even if it is it still is the facts.

posted on 19 Jan 2012, 13:59 2

4. Whateverman (Posts: 3231; Member since: 17 May 2009)


RIM really needs a shot of adrenaline from all sides. They can do that by first, focusing on phones. Playbook was a great idea that was very poorly executed, so for now put the Playbook to on hiatus for just a bit.

Second, introduce a new line of Blaberry devices that look less like the same old Curve and Bold, and look more like what people are buying in droves right now...a few all touchscreen devices. But they can't half-a$$ the specs anymore. Their next device should have all the exact same specs people look for on high end Android devices. No less than an 8MP camera, 1.3 or better for the front. 1GB of ram, 8Gb of storage w/ a 16GB sd cards preinstalled. Dual cores, whether it needs it or not, because you have to keep us nerds happy too.

Third, once they have a few form factors all speced out in a similar fashion...set this new line of Blackberries apart from the one your grandparents are carrying by rebranding. Call the new line the QNX series or something like that. The QNX Lightning, the QNX Firestorm... Something that will let people know these devices are completly different from what weve seen in past years. Toyota has Lexus, Movado has ESQ...so why not make this a line of phones that the average consumer would want?

Lastly, market the heck out of the line. Get people familiar with the new brand and the advertisement should be gear towards all consumers between the ages of 20 - 35 years old. And for the love of Krispy Kreme Dounuts, none of the actors should be wearing business suits!!! Show the UI ripping through the Internet, facebook, twitter, videos and ebooks, with an iconic high energy rock and roll song blaring in the background like "Let me stand next to your fire". Or "Walk this way" the Run DMC version!

That would get their new devices some desperately needed attention.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 02:27 1

7. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)


Interesting points. On the marketing bit, I found their "we're the blackberry boys" ad foolish. They showed the "suited" guys singing happily with their BBs. Next, a bunch of casually dressed people jump in with their BBs and join the song. This was ok. What was not ok was the surprised and confused and disappointing and disapproving looks on the suited guys. it looked like RIM was disapproving of a large part of their clientele.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:41 1

9. Whateverman (Posts: 3231; Member since: 17 May 2009)


I'll have to look for that commercial. RIM can't afford to snub any of their clientele at this point. So they had better embrace any and everyone willing to carry their devices.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 02:18

6. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)


Or perhaps they should start manufacturing phones using other OSs?
In addition to trying to build their OS a little more.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 06:27

8. Lwazi_N (Posts: 205; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


Everything has and is happening all-too slowly at RIM. It actually pisses me the hell off, I don't know if they do not see things the way the market does. It's quite sad.

All that said, I also don't think RIM is dead yet. There are still a lot of solutions for them and yes, they may have taken to long to arrive at them. And BB10 and OS 2.0 being part of those solutions- it is better that those changes actually came at last other than them not being implemented at all.

I think it is quite harsh to say BB10 may have no market on release of mobiles when the time comes. If there is any truth to the leaked photo of the London, RIM has made a major change. With a dual or even quad core cpu rumored to be powering the device, large screen, good cam, etc.

Yes, RIM are playing catch-up, but I am sure there will be quite a number of people to buy their BB10 handset/s. Maybe not enough to the RIM Messiah but enough to keep RIM afloat while they develop more technologies.

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