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What: Shares of Research In Motion have popped today by upwards of 12% after CEO Thorsten Heins said the company is considering a wide range of strategic options.
So what: In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Heins said that could include selling the company's hardware operations as well as potentially licensing its new BlackBerry 10 operating system platform to other vendors. Heins emphasized that the first thing that the company needs to focus on is launching BlackBerry 10 and proving it as a viable competitor.
Now what: The news comes as market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech released estimates showing that RIM's market share in the U.S. fell to 1.1% during the 12 weeks ending Dec. 23, so the company is in dire need of success from BlackBerry 10. Licensing the platform to other OEMs could boost margins, though at the risk of reducing its control over its hardware. BlackBerry 10 launches on Jan. 30 and Research In Motion has already lined up numerous carrier partners.
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