Did RIM shelve plans to license BBM?
Research In Motion (RIM) had considered licensing BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) before its chief executive Thorsten Heins shifted focus, according to a new report.
Late last year and early into 2012, RIM's executives were drawing up plans to make BBM available for licensing to other device makers and carriers, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources. According to the publication, the platform was to be called "SMS 2.0," and would work on both Android and iOS.
To help make that push, RIM acquired messaging firm LiveProfile last year, according to the Journal's sources. The move was approved by former co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, who reportedly believed licensing the software would enhance RIM's chances of competing more effectively in the marketplace.
RIM certainly need something. The BlackBerry maker has watched its smartphone shipments plummet over the last several quarters, and investors are dumping their stakes, for fear of going down with the ship. Through it all, though, RIM has stayed on message, saying that it has what it takes to succeed, once again, in the marketplace.
When Heins became RIM's chief executive this year, he decided to ditch plans to license BBM, according to the Journal's sources. He, instead, wanted to realign the company's focus around new devices and BlackBerry 10.
That reportedly wasn't the only idea Heins shelved. Last month, Reuters reported that Balsillie was working on a plan, prior to his departure, that would have opened RIM's network up to carriers. The plan would have given RIM a new revenue stream and reduced its reliance upon smartphone sales, Balsillie reportedly argued at the time. Soon after, Heins decided against the idea.