BlackBerry chief John Chen recently stated that his company is only going to make Android smartphones this year. And if a report from Economic Times is anything to go by, they company might only make Android phones for the foreseeable future, signaling the end of the 3 year-old BB10 platform…
“The future is really Android,” said Damian Tay, BlackBerry’s senior director of product management in Asia Pacific, speaking to Economic Times India. His comments leave very little to the imagination, and come close to confirming the Canadian company’s future plans.
Although it currently sells both BB10 and Android-powered smartphones, Tay commented that the manufacturer will likely sell only Android phones in the future.
“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],” Damian Tay, senior director, APAC product management at BlackBerry, told ET. “But for now, we have BB10 and Android platforms for our smartphones.”
With that said, the company can’t immediately go all-out Android and ditch its own OS. Tay notes that several global governmental bodies and corporate agencies still rely on the security offered by BB10 for communication. If BlackBerry was to stop selling BB10 phones now, the governments “would be in a fix”. In the mean time, the manufacturer is woking on getting the necessary clearances and certifications from various governments for the Android-powered BlackBerry phones.
With that being said, BlackBerry will continue to sell the Classic and the Passport models for now. But with the comments made recently that 2016 will be an all-Android year for BlackBerry, we have to question if the Classic and Passport are the last BB10-powered smartphones to come out of Waterloo.
As much as it might upset the BlackBerry-faithful, the plans make sense. BlackBerry needs to start making money, and by spending less time and money on its own software development, it can focus on hardware and services, two areas where it can still scrape out some revenue. With Android onboard, BlackBerry phones like the PRIV will be more appealing to the average consumer. And if the manufacturer can continue its efforts to secure the platform, its reputation for secure devices will continue, ensuring that corporations and government retain their faith in the smartphone maker.