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Bloomberg: RIM 'prefers' to license BlackBerry OS, doesn't want to be bought

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A Bloomberg report claims that RIM is hiring banks to help it license BlackBerry OS.

Thorsten Heins
Thorsten Heins

Bloomberg is reporting that RIM would "prefer" to license its BlackBerry OS platform to help fix its balance sheet, and that it's hiring a pair of banks — one Canadian, one international — to advise it on how to go about doing that. The rumor comes as no surprise: recently-installed CEO Thorsten Heins made it clear on RIM's last earnings call that the company was exploring all available options to get back on solid financial ground, and the concept of licensing its next-generation BlackBerry 10 platform to other hardware manufacturers was brought up several times.

The report also states that the company (and presumably, Heins himself) is against an outright sale of RIM — barring a licensing arrangement, it'd allegedly explore a "strategic investment." Whether that means Waterloo would look to buy another company with its remaining $1.8 billion in cash or look for an outside firm to buy key parts of its portfolio is unclear, but Bloomberg notes that both Microsoft and Samsung could be interested in patent holdings or the BBM messaging platform; Samsung has recently attempted to get into realtime mobile messaging with ChatOn, but it enjoys just a shadow of BBM's popularity.

RIM has refused to comment on the rumors.