BlackBerry announced their second Android-powered smartphone today, in the DTEK50. The company did say that they used a reference design from a partner for the DTEK50. So while not specifically stating that they did grab the Alcatel Idol 4 from TCL and use it for themselves, they did hint at it. Which is what most people had speculated ahead of the launch. After announcing the device, BlackBerry held a Q&A session, where they confirmed that there would be more Android smartphones coming from the Waterloo company later this year.
While BlackBerry wouldn't commit to how many Android-powered smartphones are in the pipeline, they did say "a couple" which for most people would mean two. However, they did elaborate on the fact that there would be one with a physical keyboard. Not a slider, like the PRIV, but a physical keyboard. Think of the BlackBerry Classic, but running Android. That's essentially what the company is working on right now. There was no time frame given, of when the next Android-powered smartphone would be made available, however we expect to see that launch in the next few months, especially with the holiday season right around the corner.
It's also worth noting that while BlackBerry has now launched two Android-powered smartphones, and has plans for at least a couple more, the company is not getting rid of BlackBerry OS. They confirmed multiple times today that BlackBerry 10 is going nowhere, and in fact there is a rather large update coming in the next few weeks, for those that are using BlackBerry 10 devices. This shows that BlackBerry has really pivoted into being a software company. Where they are still working on their own smartphone operating system, but also using Android for their newer smartphones.
While the BlackBerry PRIV didn't sell as well as many had hoped – largely due to the large price tag – many are hoping that the DTEK50 sells a bit better. And it likely will, considering it is priced at $299, and has pretty decent specs, even for a mid-range smartphone. The BlackBerry DTEK50 is up for pre-order today at ShopBlackBerry.com for $299 and will be shipping the week of August 8th. Which is less than two weeks away.