BlackBerry appears to be readying two new smartphones featuring Google’s Android operating system, as it bids to arrest a long-term sales decline.
Until now, the Canadian mobile-maker has always released devices running its own operating system. But after confirming it's working with Google to create a more secure, business–focused version of Android, the two are now apparently set to cosy up even more snugly.
The first device to leak is a slider codenamed Venice. This phone looks on the surface to be running stock Android, but according to @evleaks will come with a series of features held over from BB10.
That means it'll surely pack BBM, unified messages in BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry’s own note-taking and tasks apps. Essentially, BlackBerry is following a well worn path of adding its own apps to the basic Google experience.
The other handset is a new–look version of the company’s square Passport handset. Called the Passport Silver Edition, it features the same approach to Android as the Venice.
There’s no word on when either handset will get an official release, although both look very close to being ready to hit shop shelves.
BlackBerry has struggled to match its competitors in recent years, but may find its stock soars by teaming up with Google and hitching a ride on the world’s most popular mobile operating system.