RIM to license BlackBerry 10 to other manufacturers?

Research In MotionA new rumour suggests that we could see more BlackBerry 10 devices than expected after reports that Research In Motion was focusing on a single device (at least for now). A report by Peter Misek, a Jefferies & Co. analyst suggests that RIM could license its upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS to other smartphone vendors. He adds that agreements may already be in place with HTC and Samsung:

We think some of this has already been started with RIM likely agreeing to license Blackberry 10 to Samsung, HTC, and possibly others.This would help create a critical mass for the ecosystem and maintain RIM’s monthly service revenue; however, it puts more pressure on the hardware business in the short term. Longer term, it possibly gets people hooked on the RIM ecosystem and may in fact allow them to sell more BB 10 handsets (if they are able to create compelling handsets).

Both HTC and Samsung already support Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone. Samsung also supports its own Bada as well. Would either company really take on what will essentially be a new mobile operating system? It seems unlikely at this point. And what would happen if they were more successful with their hardware than RIM? Could RIM exit the hardware business altogether (something that has already been suggested)?

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