RIM CEO Thorstein Heins denies trough times ahead

The man that inherited both impressive legacy and an unfolding disaster, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, has said he will not rule out licensing BlackBerry 10, should it ever appear. 

Heins told the Telegraph that the company is “not in a trough”, trotting out figures to back his line that the company is still growing: “If you look at the devices we’ve got a single phone that’s sold 45 million units,” he said. Although this sounds like optimistic doublespeak to us, a possible big plan for RIM would be rolling out BB10 to other handset makers. This, the Jellygraph theorises, could lead to Samsung or Sony devices that run the operating system. It will have to be special.

Despite Microsoft’s enormous cash pile and generally positive reviews, Windows Phone has not been able to make a dent in the share of iOS devices, let alone Google’s ingenius model of flooding the market with Android.

Heins admitted that his company does not have the same resource pool as a behemoth like Microsoft. “We have to place one bet and make it right, we don’t want to go for an intermediate step,” Heins said. He also promised that the much delayed BB10 will launch at the beginning of 2013, and it is going to surprise the industry. BB10 will unveil what he calls “true multitasking”, and he believes it has the potential to run car navigation as well as entertainment and gaming systems. 

For a company whose devices have struggled to develop a thriving ecosystem, faced by the challenges of the smartphone, Heins also told the Telegraph that RIM won’t be able to have a great OS and leave it at that, but must also build the platform around it. 

Heins also revealed that the company had thought about going over to a different platform to get devices in shop fronts, but RIM  believes that there is “little wiggle room” to differentiate and that it “took the conscious decision not to go Android”. Blackberry basics will remain important to the company, he said, pointing out that BBM is still largely popular.

Among all the impressive fighting talk and bluster, Heins said that a key market will still be for “those guys who are ahead of the game” – basically those who have “very little time to consume and enjoy content”. Ultimately, RIM really is losing its market share, and we will have to wait and see come the elusive BlackBerry 10 if it lives up to Heins’ chest-beating, hype and optimism.