More reports on: Telecom

BlackBerry to run new smartphone on Android software

news
12 June 2015

BlackBerry is mulling a new smartphone running on Google's Android software for the first time, an acknowledgement that its revamped line of devices had failed to gain traction, Reuters reported quoting sources.

The move will see the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, going back on its position that its BlackBerry 10 line of phones would be able to claw back market share lost to Apple's iPhone as also a slew of devices powered by Android.

The sources, who asked not to be identified as they were not authorised to discuss the matter publicly, said the move to use Android formed part of BlackBerry's strategy to focus on software and device management.

BlackBerry, once the undisputed leader in smartphone sales, now had a market share of less than 1 per cent.

It was not certain whether the move to Android would see the company discontinue its BlackBerry 10 line of devices that were initially launched with much fanfare in early 2013. After positive early reviews, the late-to-launch BlackBerry devices had failed to take on Android or Apple, mainly due to a lack of big name apps.

"We don't comment on rumours and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched," said the company in an email.

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, Reuters said.

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 report said the move to use Android is part of BlackBerry's strategy to pivot to focus on software and device management.

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.





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