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RIM renames BlackBerry App World, mulls BB10 licensing

So long, BlackBerry App World! Welcome, BlackBerry World! Meanwhile, the company's big cheese is considering licensing BB10.

BlackBerry-maker RIM is getting its ducks in a row ahead of the launch of BlackBerry 10, giving its app store a new lick of paint. Or at least, a new lick of, er, name.

From now on, RIM explains, BlackBerry App World will be known simply as BlackBerry World. RIM says the rebranding of its digital shop "reflects a shift in the type of things you can purchase from the store as we transition to BlackBerry 10 and beyond".

In other words, expect to see RIM cramming BlackBerry World with as many movies, TV shows and songs as it can lay claim to. Recently one company exec claimed that BlackBerry 10 -- the newest version of the BlackBerry operating system that debuts this month -- will launch with tens of thousands of apps, so all signs show that RIM is working to build a digital service to rival iTunes or Google Play.

The problem for RIM is the simply enormous headstart that both Apple and Google have enjoyed, which will make it beyond difficult for BlackBerry gadgets to gain any traction in the smart phone race.

We've already seen some of the first BlackBerry 10 phones leaked, such as the X10 and Z10 shown below.


Meanwhile, have you ever dreamed of a Nokia or Samsung phone running on BlackBerry software? No, us neither. But such devices could yet prove a reality, as BlackBerry chief Thorsten Heins is looking beyond the launch of BlackBerry 10, mulling over the possibility of licensing the new software to other manufacturers.

In an interview with German paper Die Welt, the boss of BlackBerry says licensing BlackBerry 10 is "conceivable", but notes, "Before you license the software, you must show that the platform has a large potential." Heins dropped similar hints last year, saying, "You could think about us building a reference system, and then basically licensing that reference design, have others build the hardware around it."

What's the right path for ailing RIM? Stick your suggestions in the comments or on our Facebook wall.