After years of faithfully sticking to its own Operating System, Blackberry is attempting to buoy its sinking ship by making a shift to the Android platform. The company, amid intense speculations, has now formally announced its plans to launch an Android device soon, in its second quarter financial results.
The signs had been there since the past few months and the market had been rife with speculation about Blackberry’s upcoming Android device, expected to be code-named “Venice”. However, we now know that Blackberry’s maiden Android will be called “Priv” — in what is an allusion to BlackBerry’s reputation as a privacy-focused company.
John Chen, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BlackBerry talked about ‘Priv’ in the Q2 report.
Today, I am confirming our plans to launch Priv, an Android device named after BlackBerry’s heritage and core mission of protecting our customers’ privacy. Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform,
While the rumor mongers were wrong about the name, they weren’t much off the mark with regards to the device specifications. As suspected, the device will be a slider and will combine a touchscreen with a qwerty keypad. However, that is pretty much all that is known at this point. The device is expected to launch near the year-end. As per the company, the device is expected to arrive “late in the calendar year in major markets in-store and online.”
However, this doesn’t mean that BlackBerry is letting go of its beloved BlackBerry OS. Despite the disappointment that the OS has been to the users — and to the company, which saw its market share fall to below 1% — BlackBerry will continue working on BlackBerry 10, with updates to the platform expected next March.
So after years of denial, BlackBerry has caved in to Android’s popularity and as per the rumors that are reaching us, Nokia might be the next in line. Google’s Android seems to be taking over all the pockets of resistances, one at a time and, Blackberry’s fall from grace — A company which erstwhile was one of the dominant players — only goes to show how rapidly things can change, in the ever shifting smartphone market.