Rumors have sprung up claiming Research In Motion is eyeing the possibilities of licensing the BlackBerry 10 operating system. Whether true or not, this is a subject many have mixed feelings about. While it could be monetarily beneficial for RIM to let third parties use BlackBerry 10, in turn it could be disadvantageous for the company as a whole.
However, in the past, we’ve seen RIM venture in a similar path with support for Windows Mobile. A few years ago RIM brought BlackBerry services to Windows Mobile. This sort of app suite essentially gave Windows Mobile users a ‘soft BlackBerry’. In a minuscule way, RIM had literally licensed out parts of itself to Microsoft.
The market is showing BlackBerry users are steadily moving on to a different platform. Yes, some of the ‘lost ones’ return to BlackBerry, while others, grown too fed up, have sacrificed BBM and other fantastic BlackBerry services for Android, iOS, or even Windows Phone 7. What if RIM could still cater to these past customers?
There were rumors we would see BBM on other platforms, but those rumors were quickly shown to be false. Although, RIM recently began the process of supporting other platforms on its infrastructure using Mobile Fusion. What if RIM made another ‘BlackBerry app suite’ for non-BlackBerry platforms? Could there be a ‘soft BlackBerry’ market for RIM?