Former RIM chief was planning changes before he left

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Former RIM (Research in Motion) head Jim Balsillie was planning extensive changes within the company before he stepped down, according to a report from Reuters citing two unnamed sources.

The plans included giving wireless companies in America and Europe access to Blackberry’s networks, allowing them to route non Blackberry devices through the system. This would have apparently helped to draw non-smartphone users into the smartphone market by letting the wireless companies offer low-cost social media and messaging data plans that would piggy-back on Blackberry’s proprietary networks. Selling the service was also considered.

The talks with the external carriers reportedly led to conflict within RIM and contributed to Balsillie leaving the company.

The carriers that were involved in talks regarding Balsillie’s plan included AT&T, Verizon,  Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom AG, Telefonica SA and France Telecom SA according to one of the sources.

Blackberry’s new CEO Thorsten Heins has opted to focus the company’s efforts of the next generation of Blackberry handsets, which are due out later this year, but a plan like Balsillie’s has apparently not been ruled out.

Source: Reuters

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