Will HTC License BlackBerry from RIM?

We’ve been hearing about how smartphone manufacturers are scrambling to look for alternatives to Android. This may be in anticipation of the potential legal repercussions of Apple’s patent win against Samsung, or perhaps just an attempt to regain momentum in the smartphone market amid Samsung’s dominance in Android devices.

HTC, for one, is not exactly in the best place, having fallen from being the top Android OEM to a struggling company. But given its financial and development struggles, is an OS switch the right move?

We earlier heard rumors that the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer was planning to run Windows Phone 8 on its upcoming smartphone releases. Could licensing BlackBerry from RIM also be part of HTC’s plans? HTC itself neither confirmed nor categorically denied that they were looking into Andriod alternatives.

Graham Wheeler, HTC’s director of product management for EMEA, says the company is open to other OSes, but that these will have to undergo review and testing.

I don’t have any knowledge but that is not to say we are not looking at it. But from my point of view we are not saying we are closed to a new operating system. We will review each one to make sure it’s the best for our customers.

It will all boil down to whether RIM itself would be interested in licensing out its operating system in the first place. Some observers say this might be the kiss of death for RIM, especially if it will not be able to make the most out of such deals. But given that the BlackBerry platform is still going strong in emerging and established markets like Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, South America and the UAE, perhaps the platform still has a chance of thriving.