Smartphone maker BlackBerry is struggling to remain relevant in the cutthroat tech world, but it may have a plan up its sleeve.

According to the latest reports BlackBerry is set to launch two new Android-powered handsets later this year. Previous rumors had mentioned the possibility of one device, but now it appears that the company will release two smartphones.

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BlackBerry faced with some tough choices

The news comes despite one analyst recommending that BlackBerry should concentrate on software if it wants to remain profitable and relevant. TD Securities’ analyst Daniel Chan says that it should ditch hardware after making the controversial step of introducing an Android-powered smartphone, the PRIV.

Then the company did not introduce an entry-level Android smartphone at Mobile World Congress, a move which left analysts scratching their heads. Some believe that it could be a sign that BlackBerry hardware is over.

However a new rumor suggests that the company will bring out not one, but two smartphones. The two new handsets will apparently be named “Hamburg” and “Rome.”

What will the company do next?

The rumor is that Rome will be the premium model with some similarities to the existing BlackBerry PRIV, which has a touchscreen and a hardware keyboard. The Hamburg will reportedly be a mid-range device that will rely on a touchscreen rather than a hardware keyboard.

At this stage this is pure speculation, and previous rumors have come to nothing. Before BlackBerry fans get excited its best to sit tight and take the rumors with a pinch of salt. It is hard to believe that a company which once dominated the smartphone market has come to plumb such depths.

In recent weeks both Facebook and WhatsApp have announced that they will be ending support for the BlackBerry 10 operating system. Their decision was apparently based on the tiny amount of users still on the platform.

There is surely no sadder indictment of the health of the hardware business that some of the biggest, most popular apps are abandoning the platform. BlackBerry CEO John Chan has some tough calls to make in the next few months.

[SOURCE]