In what could be deemed as an unexpected turn of events, BlackBerry is reportedly considering the possibility of adopting Google’s Android OS, shifting away from its own BlackBerry 10 OS. According to a report by Reuters, citing four sources familiar with the matter, said “BlackBerry (BB.TO) is considering equipping an upcoming smartphone with Google Inc.’s (GOOGL.O) Android software for the first time, an acknowledgement that its revamped line of devices has failed to win mass appeal.”
The move could be an indirect admission to its BlackBerry 10 OS failure to attract customers, with the company currently having less than 1 percent market share while others like Google and Apple continue to dominate.
BlackBerry has denied to make any comments on the Reuters report, though said in an email it doesn’t comment on rumors and speculations, “but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched.”
BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen has his stakes set on the company’s new device management system, BES12, that allows corporate and government clients to not only manage BlackBerry devices on their internal networks, but also devices powered by other operating systems including Android, iOS along with Windows.
Though one of the major roadblock ahead for BlackBerry is to convince customers that its device management platform has cross-platform compatibility
As far as the upcoming device goes, sources suggest that BlackBerry “will probably use Android on an upcoming slider device that is likely to be released this autumn.”
At 2015 Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, BlackBerry did tease a smartphone with a curved display, something similar to the Galaxy S6 Edge, though had a slide out keyboard. Hence, it could be the same slider device that Reuters report mentions could run on Android.
At this point, it’s still unclear if this shift would be for one particular smartphone, or would it be a shift in focus completely away from the company’s BlackBerry 10 OS.
For now, we would rather take this news with a huge grain of salt, as the Canadian manufacturer clearly says that it’s still committed to the BlackBerry 10.
Meanwhile in March, the company announced its plans to create a “BlackBerry Experience Suite,” which is essentially a collection the company’s own apps and features that’ll be made available on Android, iOS and Windows.