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Beleaguered handset-maker BlackBerry, nee Research In Motion (RIM), considered ditching its own software in favour of a rival platform, it has emerged.

Recent years have seen BlackBerry’s share of the smartphone market atrophy, amid fierce competition from Android and the iPhone. The company’s struggles saw a dramatic overhaul of its management structure and a huge drop in profits.

The change fortunes for the just-rebranded company were attributed chiefly to the shortcomings of its operating system, which looked unwieldy and un-user friendly next to its rivals.

At the launch of phones powered by BlackBerry’s new operating system, BlackBerry 10, CEO Thorsten Heins admitted that the company was so rocked by the seismic ructions in the smartphone market that it considered adopting a rival operating system and reverting to a hardware-only manufacturer.

Heins did not name which platforms were under consideration, but it’s almost certain to have considered jumping ship to Android and more probably to Windows Phone.

According to Heins, BlackBerry 10 marks a “new day in the history of BlackBerry”, which is aimed at people who are “hyper connected socially” and who have “an appetite for getting things done”.

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