Yet, as VentureBeat's Ricardo Bilton notes, the move to spin off hardware sales and license the OS "wouldn't make much sense." RIM's ability to mesh its own software and hardware, as Apple does, would be lost; and "there's not a single smartphone maker for which BlackBerry 10 would be an attractive option."
Next week, at multiple locations, RIM will unveil what is expected to be at least two new smartphones, the first to run the BlackBerry 10 operating system. The new OS, which is a complete break with the firmware that's powered all earlier BlackBerry phones, features a radically new UI design built atop the widely used QNX real-time operating system kernel, which RIM acquired in 2010. QNX is the basis for the OS used in RIM's PlayBook tablet, and that software will be upgraded to the production version of BlackBerry 10.
This week, the German website Telekom Presse posted a comparison of what it claims is a BlackBerry Z10 smartphone, running BlackBerry 10, with the iPhone 5. The purported BlackBerry has a slightly larger screen at 4.2 inches, a correspondingly wider and longer body and is somewhat thicker than the current iPhone. Speculation about other features includes: a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1280 x 768 resolution, LTE, 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB storage, 8 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera, 1800mAh battery, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and a microSD port.
Telekom Presse posted a video of the comparison.
RIM is putting the final touches on preparations for the unveiling on Jan. 30. It recently announced a change of its online app store, from BlackBerry App World to BlackBerry World, and said users also will soon be able to download videos and music from the store.