According to Bloomberg, Canada-based maker of BlackBerry handsets, Research In Motion, will be licensing its upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system to a smartphone manufacturer, Bloomberg reports. Apparently the company is evaluating options as we speak, considering how other companies may be able to use it in a range of products. This is the last nail in the coffin of RIM as we used to know it…

Bloomberg has the story:

Research In Motion Ltd. said it will soon be ready to license the company’s new BlackBerry 10 operating system to other manufacturers, even as it races to release its own devices with the software by early next year.

According to the report, BlackBerry 10 OS is “in the final stages of testing”. The embattled handset maker is said to be “considering how other companies may be able to use it in a range of products”, according to RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins.

Note that RIM never allowed any company to make BlackBerry-certified handsets. It was recently asserted that Samsung could offer RIM a lifeline and acquire the company, but the Galaxy maker denied the story.

Perhaps Samsung is one of the companies RIM’s CEO is considering as a BlackBerry 10 licensee?

BlackBerry 10 was born out of QNX, a third-party operating system RIM acquired in 2010 from Harman International Industries for $200 million.

The CEO explains RIM could have licensed BlackBerry 10 to car makers, if it wanted to:

QNX is already licensed across the automotive sector – we could do that with BB10 if we chose to,” Heins, who has begun to carry a BB10 phone for his own use, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. “The platform can be licensed.”

Has this come as a surprise to you?