RIM chief Heins says BlackBerry could feature on rival devices

BLACKBERRY software could be licensed to other phone manufacturers, the chief executive of owner Research in Motion (RIM) has said.

Thorsten Heins, who was made RIM’s chief executive 12 months ago, said offering the BlackBerry operating system to other parties, such as Samsung and HTC, was a possibility, and that the Canadian company could even sell its hardware business.

“There are several options, including the sale of hardware production, as well as licensing our software. But there is no reason for us to decide in haste,” Heins told German newspaper Die Welt. The company’s plans hinge on the success of BlackBerry 10, RIM’s next generation of handsets which will run new software.

Heins said licensing would only be considered after the new software had a chance to succeed. “The main thing for now is to successfully introduce Blackberry 10. Then we’ll see,” Heins said. The German-born chief executive is hoping BlackBerry 10 can revive RIM’s fortunes having lost out to the likes of Apple and Samsung.

The current BlackBerry software has seen little innovation in recent years, and is seen as outdated. However, parts of RIM’s software, such as its BlackBerry Messenger chat service and reliable email, are still viewed as valuable assets.