Image from CrackBerry

In the current smartphone race, which basically comes down to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, the key differentiator is that one OS is licensed to several manufactures (Android), and the other runs solely on the OS creator’s optimized handsets (iOS). With RIM publicly struggling as a company, with a clear need for a new direction, the company says it will take the Google OS route and license its upcoming BlackBerry 10 software to other handset makers.

Bloomberg has the quote from recently appointed RIM CEO Thorsten Heins:

QNX is already licensed across the automotive sector — we could do that with BB10 if we chose to,” Heins, who has begun to carry a BB10 phone for his own use, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. “The platform can be licensed.

RIM’s current smartphone lineup (and in the past) has closely mirrored Apple’s approach. RIM has built and optimized its own software and hardware to work in tandem. RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 mobile device operating system is a major departure from the company’s current mobile operating system. It is completely re-written and redesigned for touch and new features like advanced multitasking.

BlackBerry 10 will begin making its way onto smartphones in 2013.

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