BlackBerry will apparently launch an Android smartphone, claims a report from Reuters. The plan apparently is to focus on software and device management rather than owning the operating system from top to bottom.
A smart move from BlackBerry
The sliding phone that was shown at the World Mobile Congress (MWC) by BlackBerry will potentially run on Google’s operating system, implying that the company will give an unusual twist to the otherwise obvious form factor of the Android ecosystem. The move makes all the sense in the world for the Canadian smartphone maker, which failed to trigger any interest with the latest version of its operating system, which was launched in early 2013. The company’s share of the smartphone market remains at less than 1% of the global market.
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Although the news comes as a bit of a surprise, this is not the first time the company is trying its luck with Android. BlackBerry 10 has a fair number of Android apps in its library, and the company even released its BBM Messenger app for iOS and Android. Also BlackBerry integrated its security technology into the Knox software on Samsung’s Android phones. A complete Android phone from the house of BlackBerry could enhance its reputation as a security provider whose device management software can work on other, more popular platforms.
BES12 compatible across platforms
Citing sources, the report says that with the launch of an Android device, the Canadian smartphone maker is prepping to convey to skeptics that it is confident on the BES12 system’s managing capacity of offering secure smartphones and tablets on competitors’ operating systems. The next-to-be-launched device by BlackBerry would be a slider, said the same sources, adding that the phone will sport a physical keyboard and touchscreen.
However, BlackBerry is still to confirm the news and told Reuters, “We don’t comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched.”
Further, the sources revealed that if BlackBerry goes ahead with the implementation of its Android device plan, it will have some patented features. In March, the company said that it will offer its patented security, productivity and communication tools to any mobile device running on iOS, Android or Windows. Also BlackBerry CEO John Chen said at the time that the company was still committed to its own device business.