All it took was one experimental Android smartphone to convince BlackBerry that the only way it’s going to survive in the handset market is if it starts developing Android devices full-time. At least, that’s what can be gathered from last month’s announcement that it’ll only be releasing Android devices this year, which led many to wonder if the company’s own BB10 platform was dead. At the times, BlackBerry assured BB10 users that the platform won’t be going away anytime soon, but while talking about the company’s future direction with the Economic Times last Friday, one of the company’s employees revealed that it plans to phase out BB10 entirely. He said that BlackBerry will continue to be a two-platform company for the time being, but that it intends to become an Android-only company in the near future.
As it turns out, BlackBerry is mulling the idea of ditching the once-famous BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system. In order to bring the glory back to the company and its brand, BlackBerry might abandon BB10 for Google’s Android for its future smartphones. It is worth mentioning that most of the company’s revenue comes from the hardware business unit and not from services. The Canadian tech giant released the slider phone BlackBerry Priv towards the end of last week in India for a whopping Rs 62,900 (about $929), while this device retails at $699 in the U.S. This is reportedly where Damian Tay, senior director, APAC product management at BlackBerry, spilled the beans about the company’s future direction to the Economic Times. Tay apparently said, “The Priv device is essentially our transition to Android ecosystem. As we secure Android, over a period of time, we would not have two platforms, and may have only Android as a platform [for smartphones].” “But for now, we have BB10 and Android platforms for our smartphones,” Tay added. The senior director thinks Android is the future. BlackBerry experimented with Android for the Priv precisely because of the app ecosystem. He also indicated that the enterprise solutions that BlackBerry produces have all been cross-platform. Therefore, it is a “natural progression towards Android.”
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