Over the years BlackBerry has been seeing a decline in users not just from the consumer side of things but with enterprise as well, due to the increasing popularity of Android and the improving nature of Android as an acceptable platform for businesses and security thanks to Samsung’s KNOX software. While both platforms have gotten along fine without the other in the past, do Android and BlackBerry need each other? No matter how much Android has improved with security, they still technically can’t live up to the prowess of BlackBerry’s reputation in this category. This is where BlackBerry’s announced partnership with Google to work on security software with Android gets interesting as it would most certainly mean increased chances of companies using Android over BlackBerry devices to meet their business needs. Android also wants to become more of a serious player in the enterprise space, but how fast would it come about without Blackberry’s help and the partnership?
On the other hand, BlackBerry seems to be somewhat of a dying breed. With Android and iOS the two behemoth mobile platforms that they are, plenty of consumers have jumped ship to the other platforms where the grass is greener so to speak. More app choices, a booming and robust community of users and things are still ever growing. BlackBerry’s OS10, while not a bad platform, just doesn’t have the community it used to 5-7 years ago. This is where some of the many rumors of an Android-powered BlackBerry device become interesting as a BlackBerry running the world’s most popular mobile OS would highly likely entice consumers. If not to buy, to at least consider to buy, and with that BlackBerry would at least be reaching consumers again with interest.
One thing seems pretty clear. BlackBerry is not the king of smart devices like it once was, and chances it never will be again. That doesn’t mean BlackBerry doesn’t have an opportunity to turn things around still and potentially gain some users back. While there have plenty of recent rumors suggesting an Android-powered BlackBerry in the last couple of months, the only confirmed scenario at this point where BlackBerry has any tie to Android is with the partnership it struck with Google, as well as the partnership it set up previously with Samsung. This gives BlackBerry an “in” to the Android ecosystem by providing security expertise in a way no one else likely could. It may not be a BlackBerry with Android inside, melding the best of BlackBerry and the Android operating system, but it provides BlackBerry with business, and business is what they need to stay afloat.
So, in a way, one could argue they do need Android. Then again this could only end up being a temporary solution and if they don’t act fast BlackBerry devices might be a thing of the past completely. This is where many feel that they should make an Android device as it would allow them to become relevant again and make the capable of competing. For Android, while security is improving, security is not its strongest asset and this is where BlackBerry can help. Do Android and BlackBerry need each other? Personally, I think they do, and I’m probably not the only one that feels this way. They can each serve a purpose to the other, it’s just a matter of who needs who more. In this case, if BlackBerry needs Android more than Android needs BlackBerry, what happens when Android no longer needs a partnership for security purposes? Does BlackBerry continue on their own path and make the decision (again) to stick with their homegrown BBOS or do they opt to throw an Android powered BlackBerry device in the mix?