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RIM chief: BlackBerry 10 could be licensed to handset rivals

Research In Motion's boss says the forthcoming operating system could be licensed across non-BlackBerry devices, if RIM should choose to do so.

Jacqueline Seng/CNET Asia

Research In Motion's upcoming operating system, BlackBerry 10, could soon be made available for non-BlackBerry devices, according to the company's chief executive, Thorsten Heins.

Heins told Bloomberg that QNX, the software that BlackBerry 10 is based on, is "already licensed across the automotive sector... we could do that with BlackBerry 10 if we chose to."

"The platform can be licensed," he added -- but did not confirm the software would be licensed. Samsung, which was recently rumored to be considering using BlackBerry 10, said last week it had not considered buying any licenses for the software.

Licensing allows mobile operating system makers to allow third-party hardware makers to use the software on their devices.

Google licenses its Android OS to a number of handset makers, a strategy that has propelled the operating system's market share to more than 51 percent in August, according to figures from market researcher ComScore.

The release of BlackBerry 10 was recently delayed until 2013, meaning it will miss out on the traditionally lucrative holiday sales period.

"We're not here to fight for third or fourth place," Heins concluded. The BlackBerry platform is currently in third place behind Google's Android and Apple's iOS.