According to a new report from Reuters, BlackBerry is considering releasing a smartphone with Android installed, as opposed to its own BlackBerry 10 operating system. The reasoning for the switch to Android is to allow BlackBerry to focus on software and device management. When asked about the report, BlackBerry said that it does not comment on “rumors and speculation” and is still committed to BlackBerry 10.
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BlackBerry is reportedly looking to use Android on an upcoming slider device that is slated to be released later this fall. The device will feature both a touchscreen and a physical keyboard. BlackBerry briefly showed off a slider device at Mobile World Congress, but has since provided no details on it.
Should the company launch an Android device, it will reportedly still include some of the classic BlackBerry features. Currently, BlackBerry offers its Messenger app to Android and iOS users, but this report claims that it soon will also offer BlackBerry Hub to its rivals, as well. Its Android-powered device will likely feature both BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Hub, as well as its patented predictive text feature.
Earlier this year, BlackBerry released an update for all BB10 devices that gave users access to Android apps via the Amazon App Store. It was also rumored earlier this year that Samsung was interested in purchasing BlackBerry, although those reports were eventually denied.