RIM May Look To Sell Off Hardware Side If BB10 Fails

  • Strategic review is still running
  • “Debt-free"
  • “Has $2.9 billion cash available”

RIM has hinted that it could sell off its handset division if things continue on their downward spiral.

  • Strategic review is still running
  • “Debt-free"
  • “Has $2.9 billion cash available”

RIM has hinted that it could sell off its handset division if things continue on their downward spiral. Thorsten Heins, who has been CEO at RIM for a year now, said that although the company is confident in BlackBerry 10, it is keeping its exit strategy options open.

Heins said the Canadian cellphone company would be willing to consider licensing its mobile operating system to others in the industry. He called the idea "conceivable."

"The main thing for now is to successfully introduce Blackberry 10. Then we'll see," Heins was quoted as saying. "We do not want to limit our options… including the sale of the hardware production as much as licensing our software.”

"The strategic review is still running," he went on, adding that the pressure is off now. Despite poor PR to the contrary, RIM is doing pretty well as Heins tells it.

Significantly, Heins pointed out that rumours of RIM's demise seem to have been somewhat exaggerated. He said that RIM is "debt-free" and has "$2.9 billion cash available”.

RIM hopes its re-engineered line of Blackberry 10 touch-screen and keyboard devices will win back market share lost to rivals such as Apple's iPhone and devices powered by Google's market-leading Android operating system. The upcoming operating system has faced delays but is finally set to launch Jan. 30.

For RIM, which disclosed its first decline in customers when it reported its 2012 third-quarter earnings, the launch of BlackBerry 10 is a "crucial moment," Heins said.

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