On Thursday, a report came out of Reuters that BlackBerry was thinking about using Android to power a future BlackBerry phone. One that the Reuters anonymous source said would be out later this year. Reuters asked BlackBerry for comment on the matter, but they basically said no, we’re committed to BlackBerry 10’s platform. About what you’d expect, right? Now BlackBerry has been running Android apps via a virtual machine for a few years now. BlackBerry has also brought a few of their apps over to Android, including the popular BBM app. So building a BlackBerry smartphone that runs on Android wouldn’t be a huge stretch. But can it help the company?
Well, that depends. There’s two ways BlackBerry could do this. Use Android and fork it on their phones like Amazon has done, and a few others. Which if they fork Android, I highly doubt they’ll do much better than they are currently. The other way is to go along with Google Services, and GMS certification. Now what that means, is that the device is certified by Google and has all of Google’s apps and services on board. That includes Gmail, Hangouts, Google+, Google Play, and many other apps that Google has. Being Google certified would really help BlackBerry as it would allow Android users to switch over to a BlackBerry phone and still have all their apps, services, etc.
Outside of how they decide to use Android, I think BlackBerry could be a bit successful. Maybe not on the level of Samsung though, that’s tough to do with one phone. There are many users out there that miss their BlackBerry. That miss having that physical QWERTY keyboard. If BlackBerry can put together a high-end BlackBerry phone running Android, even stock Android or AOSP, then they might have a winner on their hands.
Many would argue that they are far too late in experimenting with Android, and I would agree, but at least they are trying. Nokia didn’t try anything but Windows Phone until after they got bought by Microsoft, and then they made an Android tablet – which is pretty amazing by the way. BlackBerry has a very small market share right now but still has some of the best services and security for enterprise users. And opening up that software to Android would be a huge help to enterprise users stuck on BlackBerry, and Google would definitely appreciate the help. Considering most of BlackBerry’s users went to iOS.
Imagine this. A BlackBerry Classic, with Google Now on the home screen? It may not be what everyone wants, but there are some that do want it. Sales numbers will show.