The next hot and new Android handset may be coming from a very unlikely manufacturer; BlackBerry. Last month, it had been reported by Reuters that BlackBerry was thinking of launching an Android device. But, the rumor seems to have gotten some confirmation as on Friday, the noted industry tipster known as Evan Blass leaked some images of the BlackBerry Venice, which was running on the Android OS. The images are quite similar to the slider phone that the Waterloo, Ontario based firm had shown earlier this year the Mobile World Congress 2015. The device had shown a full touchscreen, but had covered a sliding hardware keyboard.
At that time, it was assumed that the device would run on BlackBerry’s own software, but maybe the company has had a change of heart. It is also possible for the firm to offer the phone with a choice of operating systems. According to the leak, the Venice device will be sold by AT&T and this makes perfect sense as the carrier has been associated with BlackBerry for a long while. If the device does arrive on Android, this would most definitely not be BlackBerry’s first tie-in with Google’s popular platform. After the company had launched the 7-inch BlackBerry Playbook, it had added Android support for fleshing out third-party software for the tablet.
Recently, Amazon’s app store was also integrated in BlackBerry devices by the company and these apps are also compatible with Android. Most of the company’s revenue these days is derived from services and software, but not hardware. However, introducing Android phones could aid the company in boosting its hardware revenues from services and software. The company will not have a lot to lose if it does decide to introduce Android as a base software in its smartphone as this could enable it to expand its market share.
In other news, the company also made an announcement on Friday about the launch of a limited-edition version of the BlackBerry Classic. This smartphone was originally launched in the previous year. It provides the traditional feel and look that made BlackBerry popular with fans and offers the BlackBerry 10 operating system. The new limited edition of Classic is available in Cobalt Blue alongside the existing white and black models already available. Beginning Friday, the limited-edition became available in Canada, US, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom for people shopping through ShopBlackBerry.com.
As for Italy and Hong Kong, it will become available in the next couple of weeks. The Cobalt Blue version of Classic is priced at $379. As part of the Independence Day sale, the company was also offering BlackBerry Passport for $499 and BlackBerry Leap for $245.
The launch of the iPhone in 2007 dealt a serious blow to the then RIM and the time spent in denial contributed to the loss of market share as more and more companies adopted the trend of smartphones and BlackBerry devices lost their position. Clearly, the company is trying hard to gain traction again, but it is still uncertain if the move will lead to success.