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Samsung and Sony to build BlackBerry 10 handsets?

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry 10 OS is set for release in early 2013, with the Canadian manufacturer hoping it will be the platform to bring it back from the brink.

CEO Thorsten Heins introduced BlackBerry 10 in Florida, arguing that the model will help RIM penetrate the budget smartphone market and move away from competing with larger manufacturers.

Not only that, but Heins also hinted at a potential licensing deal for the BB10 platform with other manufacturers.

BB10: Different gameplan for RIM

“We don’t have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year. We have to differentiate and have a focused platform. To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than I can do it. There’s different options we could do that we’re currently investigating.”

This could potentially herald a BlackBerry phone which could be made by manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony. Explaining how the proposed licensing system would work, Heins said:

“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. We’re investigating this and it’s way too early to get into any details.”

BlackBerry struggling

The latest move may be an attempt reverse RIM’s fortunes. The firm has seen a dramatic 70% fall in its stock prices over the last twelve months and recently announced a $518 million quarterly operating loss.

The bad news kept coming for RIM, as it disappointed consumers with news of yet another delay for the release of the BlackBerry 10 platform.

The OS is set is set to utilise 60% of the software on the current 2011 PlayBook tablet and feature video chat capabilities. Whether the deal with boost Blackberry’s current 9% of the smartphone market remains to be seen.

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