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TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion wants to hire a software developer with deep experience building applications for Apple's iPhone and iPad, according to a job posting on its LinkedIn page.
The posting suggests the company, struggling to maintain its share of the smartphone market and secure a foothold in tablets, may be interested in adapting some of its proprietary applications for use on Apple's iOS operating system.
Tech aficionados have long speculated that RIM could make its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) instant messaging service available on rival platforms including Android and Apple. That would create a fresh revenue stream for RIM but would give the BlackBerry faithful one less reason to stay loyal.
The successful candidate would "create exciting enterprise applications for distribution on the iOS platform" and would be "capable of architecting, designing, developing and testing complex applications for iPhone and iPad devices."
A spokeswoman from RIM said the job posting was part of the company's development efforts around the Blackberry Mobile Fusion device management software, which it unveiled in November.
That software, which is due to be released in March, will allow businesses and governments to manage Apple and Android devices in much the same way they can handle the BlackBerry.
The Canadian smartphone company has long struggled to match the massive libraries of applications available on Apple products and Google's Android platform, used by a range of handset makers including Samsung.
A recent survey showed only 16 percent of developers were "very interested" in creating apps for BlackBerry, while 90 percent were "very interested" in Apple and 80 percent were "very interested" in Android.
RIM upgraded software for its poor-selling PlayBook tablet in February, allowing the device to run Android apps. But the same would not be feasible with Apple, given widely different source code.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Gary Hill