Jefferies & Co.’s analyst, Peter Misek, believes that Research In Motion (RIM) could have possible plans to license their future operating system to others. The past year has been anything but successful for RIM and their stocks. Blackberry could be looking at successful Google and Microsoft have been in providing their OS to other manufacturers. There is speculation that Blackberry will agree to license their new OS to Samsung, HTC, and several other companies. Providing consumers with more robust hardware options could strengthen Blackberry’s hold on the enterprise market and could foster more growth in the personal consumer field.
Even though new generation of Blackberry devices only had small changes to them, Blackberry has always managed to keep the hardware machine turning in the past with constant refreshes to their handset lines. Misek also confirms the online rumors, based on his own RIM sources, that RIM plans to separate the CEO and Chairman of the Board positions which have been combined roles at RIM. That would effectively make Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie Co-CEOs only and would open their Co-Chairs role to be an independent role for the first time in the company’s history. If that were to happen the chances of the RIM Co-CEOs being replaced or downsized to one could be even more possible down the road.
Rumors of BlackBerry OS being licensed is definitely some positive news in the new year for what was a tumultuous 2011 for RIM. If RIM went as far as to license their OS, could they be partial to allow those manufacturers to also Skin their OS version on their own hardware or have more control over additional applications. Something like that could have resolved the lack of a native blackberry email client that RIM seemed to support in the Blackberry Playbook. The lack of that native client could be seen as one of the major flaws in the Playbook that lead to low sales before the huge price drops.