Jim Balsillie Planned to Offer RIM Software (BBM?) to iOS Before It Was Rejected

Reuters notes sources have informed them of former RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie’s ambitious plan to offer RIM’s software and services to carriers as part of a plan to turn the company around. Ultimately, his plans were rejected and Basillie parted ways with the company.

Balsillie wanted to offer carriers the option of allowing non-BlackBerry devices to use RIM’s efficient network as part of low-cost data plans for social networking use on Twitter, Facebook, and limited website access. The report notes he was in talks with numerous wireless carriers around the world, including ‘one major Canadian carrier’.

As for the software part of Balsillie’s plan? The report notes software was developed to deliver RIM services such as BBM to iOS and Android. We recently heard about RIM’s search for an iOS developer, and also saw the release of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion on iOS.

It was just over a year ago rumours were swirling of a ‘stripped down’ version of BBM was in the works for iOS and Android. Purported screenshots of BBM for the latter were spotted yesterday.

According to Reuters:

RIM was well along the path, having developed software to deliver the service to users of the latest versions of Apple and Android operating systems. It had also studied the global potential of selling the service, one source said.

But before that could happen, RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins, backed by Lazaridis and the board, rejected Balsillie’s initiative in favor of a focus on next-generation BlackBerry 10 phones due later in the year, two sources said.

The heart and soul of RIM is its secure network, and Balsillie planned to leverage this advantage in an attempt to save their sinking ship, rather than wait for a newer BlackBerry 10. It would’ve been interesting to see how things would have played out if his plan wasn’t rejected.

What do you think of Balsillie’s plan?

[via Reuters]

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