This is actually big news, considering that the words come directly from the CEO. If RIM does find some hardware partners willing to build handsets with its system, it might as well transform into a software-centric company like Microsoft.
Which would be sad, considering the top-notch hardware that RIM is capable of producing. Still, the maker of BlackBerry has proven to be pretty skillful when it comes to delivering software and services as well, so the plan might just work.
Of course, all this doesn't mean that RIM will stop producing phones and tablets. The company will surely continue to release BlackBerry devices, but listening to the CEO, it sounds like they are hoping to find other manufacturers to take case of most of the hardware stuff.
OK, Thorsten, you have our green light to go, just keep the company alive! Here's the full statement by the CEO:
You could think about us building a reference system, and then basically licensing that reference design, have others build the hardware around it – either it's a BlackBerry or it's something else being built on the BlackBerry platform.