BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Mulls Powering New Smartphone with Google’s Android


BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is considering of powering its new smartphone with the Android operating system of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), according to an exclusive report from Reuters based on information from people familiar with the matter.

The sources indicated that it is the first time for BlackBerry to consider such move, which is a part of its strategy to shift its focus on software and device management. The Canadian smartphone manufacturer has been betting on its BlackBerry 10 smartphones including the BlackBerry Classic, Curve, Leap, Passport and Porsche Design, Z3, Z10 and others to regain market share.

Data from IDC showed that Google’s Android OS is the king of the global smartphone market with 78% shares followed by Apple’s iOS with 18.3% in the first quarter of this year. The BlackBerry OS has only 0.3% market share.

Using Android OS on its upcoming smartphones will show that BlackBerry finally accepts that its operating system failed to regain its appeal or the interest of consumers.

BlackBerry remains committed to its operating system

In an email to Reuters, the Canadian smartphone manufacturer said, “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.”

BlackBerry CEO John Chen is confident with BES12, which allows enterprises and government clients to manage BlackBerry and other devices on their internal network. During a previous interview with CNBC, Chen said he feels good about BES12, and sees traction. According to him BES12 is “very competitive.”

BES12 is supporting Android for Work

Chen also disclosed that BlackBerry signed an agreement with Google. He said. “I forgot to mention this morning; we signed a good agreement with Google on Android for work. Our BES is supporting Android for work.The Android ecosystem is more embracing of partners today. This will definitely be a good business area for us.”

Technology observers suggest convincing big clients that BES12 is capable of supporting different platforms is one of the challenges confronting BlackBerry. According to two sources, once BlackBerry uses Android on its new smartphones, it would a send a message to skeptics that its device management system can manages and secure devices powered by other operating systems.

The sources said BlackBerry will probably use Android on its new slider device, which is likely to be available in the market in autumn. The Canadian smartphone manufacturer presented its slider device during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last March.