BlackBerry Android device coming later this year?

BlackBerryCould BlackBerry be considering ditching its BlackBerry10 operating system? It may not be quite ready to do so but it appears that it is at least thinking of offering devices with another operating system. Reuters today reported that BlackBerry could release a smartphone powered by Android as early as later this year. This would be quite an about-face for the company that has steadfastly continued to push its BlackBerry 10 operating system despite having seen its global mobile device market share drop to less than 1 percent.

Giving credence to the rumour is that Reuters was told the same story by four sources. The move would allow BlackBerry to further shift its focus to software and device management. BlackBerry could use such a device to prove to BES12 customers that its mobile management suite can not only manage but also secure smartphones and tablets powered by operating systems other than BlackBerry.

Two sources added that BlackBerry is looking to put Android on an upcoming slider device. BlackBerry showed off such a device at MWC 2015 but provided little information about it since. The company is also expected to enhance the operating system with a number of patented BlackBerry 10 features. An autumn launch is currently in the works for this new BlackBerry Android smartphone.

For its part, BlackBerry had little to say about the rumours. “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,” it said in an email to Reuters.

Not so clear is if such a move would spell the end of BlackBerry 10 or if the Android device would be offered as a complement to devices powered by its own operating system. It’s hard to believe that BlackBerry would continue to develop BlackBerry 10 if it finds success with Android.

Source : Reuters