This week BlackBerry CEO John Chen essentially confirmed the death of BlackBerry OS. Speaking at CES 2015, Chen confirmed that the company would release one, maybe two hardware devices in the year 2016, and that both of them would certainly run Android OS. Meanwhile they'll continue to support BlackBerry OS - BB10, as you might know it - but there aren't currently any public plans to release any new devices with the operating system any time soon, if ever.
Where does that leave Android in the mix? In a pretty great place - with a whole "new" competitor in the fiercely competitive USA-based smartphone market. Taking on the likes of Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei, and the rest, BlackBerry is a welcome addition to the hardware world for Android devices.
Based on our first few weeks with the BlackBerry Priv, we're more than just a little excited about the potential BlackBerry has in creating Android phones.
Imagine an array of BlackBerry devices, all aiming to take on the other manufacturers here in the United States with the key features they've got an edge on.
Have you seen any other major players releasing any sliding phones any time recently? Have you seen any of the major Android phone manufacturers releasing devices with hardware keyboards?
BlackBerry has always been about business - and for a while they had a command over the smartphone world like no other company did. Android might just be the key they need to return to prominence, and concentrating on one, maybe two devices for a whole year might just be the best way to do it.
UPDATE: BlackBerry comments:
"BlackBerry remains committed to the BB10 operating system. In the near-term, we are focused on software updates for BB10, with version 10.3.3 scheduled for early 2016 and 10.3.4 later this year. Our next update, 10.3.3, will be certified for NIAP compliance – this means BB10 will have passed the strictest government-grade security certifications. This achievement will enable us to further support our government and regulated customers who use BB10 devices and demand the highest levels of security."
"Our next device being developed is an Android-based phone. Further details about our future roadmap will be communicated at a later date." - BlackBerry Spokesperson