John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Who Will License RIM’s BlackBerry Platform?

Research In Motion is considering hiring a financial adviser, but not to put itself on the block.

Evidently, the company has no plans to sell — not at this time, anyway.

No, RIM is looking for an investment bank to help it license its smartphone software or broker a strategic outside investment in the company.

An inevitable move, as the company conducts CEO Thorsten Heins’s “comprehensive review of strategic opportunities,” though it does sound like a bit of a dead end. After all, who could possibly be interested in licensing RIM’s BlackBerry platform, particularly the as-of-yet unreleased and unproven BlackBerry 10? Nokia has cast its lot with Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS. And Motorola, Samsung and HTC have all cast theirs with Google’s Android OS. Both platforms have broader and stronger app ecosystems than RIM’s.

So, again, who could possibly be interested in licensing an unproven fourth BlackBerry OS with an inferior ecosystem?

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik