Despite the fact that BlackBerry OS controls a measly 0.3% of the smartphone market, BlackBerry has stayed committed to its operating system. To be fair, the latest version of BlackBerry OS is actually pretty good, but that’s not enough for the operating system to compete with the likes of Android or iOS, or even Windows Phone for that matter. Obviously the company needs to mix things up a bit if it wants to survive, and according to a report from Reuters, BlackBerry may be doing just that with the release of an Android smartphone.
BlackBerry is considering equipping an upcoming smartphone with Google Inc.’s Android software for the first time, an acknowledgement that its revamped line of devices has failed to win mass appeal, according to four sources familiar with the matter. The move would be an about-face for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which had shunned Android in a bet that its BlackBerry 10 line of phones would be able to claw back market share lost to Apple’s iPhone and a slew of devices powered by Android. The sources, who asked not to be named as they have not been authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the move to use Android is part of BlackBerry’s strategy to pivot to focus on software and device management. BlackBerry, which once dominated smartphone sales, now has a market share of less than 1 percent. It is not clear whether a move to use Android would spell the end of the company’s BlackBerry 10 line of devices that were initially launched to much fanfare in early 2013. After positive early reviews, the late-to-launch BlackBerry devices haven’t competed well with Android or Apple, mainly due to a lack of big name apps.