BlackBerry to launch Android smartphone: report

Canadian handset vendor could build device around rival OS, say insiders

Tags: Blackberry (www.blackberry.com)Canada
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BlackBerry to launch Android smartphone: report (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  June 14, 2015

Canadian smartphone maker may build an upcoming handset around Google's Android OS, Reuters reported this weekend.

The news agency cited four insiders who indicated the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor is exploring installing the world's most popular mobile platform. BlackBerry rapidly lost ground to Apple and Google when consumers gravitated to products running iOS and Android and now has a global market share of less than 1%.

BlackBerry pinned its hopes for recovery on BlackBerry 10, a fresh platform launched in January 2013, but it did little to help. Consumers instead stuck with platforms that offered popular third-party apps. A move to Android could spark renewed interest in BlackBerry handsets.

In November 2013, BlackBerry appointed turnaround specialist John Chen as CEO. Chen immediately switch focus to software and services, such as the BES12 MDM offering. BES12 covered management not only BB10 devices but also Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Reuters cited two sources as saying that the launch of an Android handset would send a message that BlackBerry is confident in the ability of BES12 to manage all platforms.

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