RIM-Samsung BlackBerry 10 licensing talks back on, analyst says

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek says that RIM is trying to hold discussions with Samsung about licensing BlackBerry 10.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins RIM

Research In Motion could be attempting to hold discussions with Samsung over the prospect of the handset maker licensing its BlackBerry 10 operating system.

In a note to investors today, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said he believes that "RIM is attempting to revive discussions with Samsung regarding a BB10 licensing deal," according to All Things Digital, which obtained a copy of the note. Misek didn't say if discussions have kicked off yet and if so, how far he believes they have gone.

Rumors have been swirling for some time that Samsung and RIM have been holding talks. However, most of those rumors revolved around the idea that Samsung was considering buying RIM outright -- a possibility that Samsung has flatly denied.

Speaking to Reuters in January, Samsung spokesman James Chung said that his company has not "considered acquiring" RIM and is "not interested" in any such deal.

BlackBerry 10 is slated to be RIM's next mobile operating system launch. The operating system was supposed to be made available this year, but the company, which says it wants to ensure the software is ready for prime time, has delayed it to early next year. BlackBerry 10 is widely believed to be the platform that could make or break RIM.

Licensing, however, might be another solid option for the company to generate some cash. And RIM CEO Thorsten Heins is certainly not against licensing its software to other companies.

"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," Heins told the Telegraph in an interview last week. "There's different options we could do that we're currently investigating."

Heins didn't say whether Samsung was involved in any of those options.

CNET has contacted both Samsung and RIM for comment on Misek's comments. We will update this story when we have more information.

 

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