back to article BlackBerry ponders putting Android on future mobes

BlackBerry is pondering kitting out its next smartphone with Google's Android operating system, according to reports. In a major strategic turn the firm is considering running the Chocolate Factory's operating system on its next mobe, reports Reuters. Citing multiple source, the newswire said the move is part of BlackBerry's …

  1. Tom Chiverton 1
    1. Bob Vistakin

      Well, don't forget the beast did once, and it's looking like now windows mobile has failed it will do again.

  2. Blank-Reg

    Makes sense I suppose.

    Though, I won't be switching to an Android phone (or iOS phone either) after my Z10. I don't like the UI and I definitely don't won't to be googletracked anymore than I probably am.

    Now. Where did I put my old Sony Ericsson or Nokia phones...

    1. JeffyPoooh

      "...after my Z10."

      How long until they reach Z80?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "...after my Z10."

        How long until they reach Z80?

        Vell, zat vill depend on vhen zey hast begün zier countink...

    2. Ken 16 Silver badge

      Yes, I love the BB10 OS after years of every flavour of android, custom ROMs and's smooth and easy.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. JeffyPoooh

      I'm not convince that Android has much software 'build quality' in their code base.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The other way around

      As a new user to Android from an old Blackberry Bold (and missing so so much of it!), I'd be much more interested in a BB OS on an Android priced device!

  4. JeffyPoooh

    Dual Boot - like duh...

    Why isn't it obvious that some phone might be sold with the capability to dual boot into either of two OS? Or three. Or 'N'.

    Not to mention that we're probably close to the point where they could run an emulator.

    1. Eddy Ito

      Re: Dual Boot - like duh...

      we're probably close to the point where they could run an emulator.

      Uh, you're aware that BB10 is currently able to run most Android apps, no? Basically it's just a java-ish runtime, no real need for a weighty emulator.

      1. JeffyPoooh

        Re: Dual Boot - like duh...

        Yes, of course.

        For emulation as I was referring to, a better example is 'Wine' for running Windows under Linux.

        Uh, you're aware of Moore's Law? LOL...

  5. muttley
    Thumb Up

    Google Play working on my Passport here...

    ...thanks to Cobalt232 over on Crackberry.

    Logged into my Google account, but not Play SERVICES, Location Services, etc.

    Older version of Chrome, latest Google Maps logged in with Favorites etc.

    In app purchases working etc etc.

    Vanilla Android + hub on a Blackberry device, oh yes please.

  6. Andy Nugent

    Given the number of negative comments we got when we released an Android Runtime app in the BlackBerry store, from people who genuinely couldn't understand why we wouldn't take the time to write a native BB10 app, this is going to go down wonderfully with their their existing users.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Yup, my contract up I have a Q10 and they haven't replaced the Q10 which I find odd. I would have at least expected a hardware refresh and why would I bother replacing like for like?

      For me it has been my best phone for years and years (For the simple reason I haven't found the need for apps for functions I am used to and expect to be on a "smart" phone), its the perfect size for what I use it for. It hasn't broken by itself (I ran into the edge of a table cracking the display which was my fault!!). I don't want another freaking android landfill device!

  7. Nash

    striking while the irons hot!

    BB are doing exactly what nokia SHOULD have done when they instead chose to go with Microsoft.

    Now that the partnership with MS is over, Nokia find themselves in an awkward position whereby the cant use any other OS providers until the end of 2016 IIRC. so BB have a perfect opportunity to potentially open up a market lead on Nokia....if they ever do decide to go with Android, which my god, i hope they do!

    1. dogged

      Re: striking while the irons hot!

      > BB are doing exactly what nokia SHOULD have done when they instead chose to go with Microsoft.

      Giving up and handing the mobile market to Samsung?

  8. Halfmad

    From one blunder to the next

    Surely they're just shoe-horning themselves into an ever increasingly small market share? Device management could work out but holy shit it's a gamble.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From one blunder to the next

      "Device management could work out but holy shit it's a gamble."

      At this point, I think perhaps it's the only thing they have to play with.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge


    Some time ago I summed up BB's current state and opined that their best move would be to ditch hardware (low-margin, competing with world+dog) and concentrate on software (high-margin, market leading, etc).

    I also opined that the daft move would be to provide their services on other platforms without ditching the hardware business.

    I never even dreamed they'd be this bloody stupid.

    Presumably the share recommendation on BB has just moved from "sell" to "GTFON!".

    1. Captain Queeg

      Re: Ah!

      Spot on.

      Remove the only differentiation? Expand boldly is to a commodity market with little real profit in it?

      How on earth can anyone at BB think consuming capital on non-profit hardware is preferable to gracefully leaving the market is beyond me?

      And this isn't a dig at Android, it's just acknowledging that if you're not Samsung or Apple there's just *no significant profit* to be made in hardware.

      When will BB finally smell the coffee and start to make some really strategic bold decisions like killing the sacred cow of Hardware? Give it up guys!

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: Ah!

        Exactly, even Samsung is watching it's smartphone profit slip gracefully under the waves and I expect that Apple will soon be following once the big screen models soak in for a bit. In the end all smartphones are just expensive razors and it's going to be the ever increasing streaming services that are the blades. I think even Apple sees that, why else would they work so hard to spark interest their latest music and video services?

        If BB does this we'll have Androids with a keyboard. Meh, if they're going to follow the pack at least they won't have to worry about software updates anymore.

      2. earplugs

        Re: Ah!

        just wait ..........................until the BB.Q , with Quantum hardware!

  10. John Sanders

    I have been saying this since time inmemorial

    Release a blackberry phone running Android, port your applications (Hub) & email to it


    1. joeW

      Re: I have been saying this since time inmemorial

      They should have done it in time immemorial too - I fear the ship has well and truly sailed at this stage.

  11. RyokuMas Silver badge

    Well, there goes Blackberry's reputation for security...

  12. Joel Mansford

    Blackberry Classic User over here

    I run two phones, a Sony Z3 compact and a Blackberry Classic (that's the newest one with a keyboard running v10). What's surprising is that I tend to use the Blackberry most due to the keyboard, I can type without looking, I can hang-up a call without taking the phone out of my pocket. I have a few android apps on it which mostly work ok. For taking pictures, GPS navigation and reading web sites it's the Sony every time - this isn't the majority of what I use my phone for though.

    After I think two years on v10 (I had a Q5 before) though I still don't find the gestures intuitive.

    I think Blackberry make quality hardware and, if they went to a proper native Android build I think they'd get a lot of business customers who actually type emails on the move - you know the original reason they were popular. No one else makes a decent Android phone with buttons anymore.

    They could be sensible and release a developer OS release for an existing device and see how many people try it. They can maintain that it's unsupported as is the case with the unpublicised Android app support currently.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hah hah

    Cause android works out sooooo well for everyone. Not. Even Samsung are turning in to a massive fail. And blackberry reckon they can do better? Snigger.

    1. dogged

      Re: hah hah

      To be fair, it works out pretty well for Google.

      Nobody else, though.

      1. midcapwarrior

        Re: hah hah

        Well it works for Microsoft. License fee estimate of $10-15 per phone.

        1. JeffyPoooh

          Re: hah hah

          Strange how I was able to purchase a Win 8 'smart' phone for $50Cdn delivered. For my one-of-each OS collection.

          The explanation is a loss leader sale, plus MS has been willing to waive their license fee in some circumstances to boot-strap Win 8's market share.

  14. Esme

    Dear God, please, no!

    All I want is a full keyboard, a screen that can is legible for textmessages, the ability to make phone calls and send text messages, a calendar function and an alarm function, and I emphatically do NOT want Android. Is that really too much to ask for?

    IMO Blackberry's phones have been getting steadily worse, sticking Android on 'em will be yet another disimprovement!

    1. FreeBrad

      Re: Dear God, please, no!

      I love my passport; it's fast, highly configurable and even though I have fairly big clumsy fingers the keyboard is no problem; the build quality is good too.

      BB10 is maturing but is pretty stable, even with the android apps; The blackberry hub is of great benefit and being able to turn off location services at the touch of a button assigned to the quick pull down menu is priceless for somebody who values their privacy but from time to time still needs to use the device as a sat nav.

  15. mistergrantham

    If its true, pity. Where to next: Sailfish or Ubuntu?

    1. James 51

      Sailfish. That will be my next phone if I can't get a BB10 handset with a removable battery and microSD slot when my Q10 bites the dust. If they release the Jolla 2 with a keyboard other half like the N900 might not wait that long.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      pity poor BB engineers

      Tried every OS ( JVA QNX DALVIK LINUX WIN ) except iOS

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I for one ..

    I would absolutely LOVE Blackberry Phone with Android , with nice keyboard. I have Samsung Galaxy Chat and it is deeply underwhelming.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Grade%

    That is a negatory BlackBerry.

    Z30 with BB10.3.2 has excellent file support that allows me to manipulate my data and get important information to the needed people with elegant simplicity. Copy/paste, the predictive keyboard, the Hub, eight applications running at once, HDMI output, Miracast; it's my dogdamn OFFICE! In my POCKET!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a terrible idea

    People don't buy phones for the OS, they buy them for the user experience, apps and hardware (in whatever order) It doesn't matter if the phone is running Android, QNX, iOS or Windows 10 underneath, if the phone is well designed and you like the GUI and can run your apps.

    Blackberry can design the hardware their customers want, layer on the GUI features they want, add Blackberry's software like their email and the stupid messenger, and benefit from the large application base of Android. They were already going Android compatible for apps anyway, once they do that exactly zero developers will care about developing native BB apps that take advantage of OS features that Android lacks. So why not add those OS features to their own build of Android and give those committed to Android an option for something a little different?

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      Re: Not a terrible idea

      "People don't buy phones for the OS, they buy them for the user experience, apps and hardware (in whatever order) It doesn't matter if the phone is running Android, QNX, iOS or Windows 10 underneath, if the phone is well designed and you like the GUI and can run your apps."

      Heresy! Burn the infidel!

    2. Eddy Ito

      Re: Not a terrible idea


      As you say they've already baked in Android compatibility so what's the point of moving to full on Android? I'd say add iOS compatibility too but I don't see Apple letting anyone into the Apple/iTunes app store without an Apple device.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not a terrible idea

        The point of moving to full Android is they don't have to waste a lot of resources maintaining and improving an entire OS, but only the special sauce they stick on top of it. What's the benefit to having it run QNX and run Android apps?

        Unless someone wants to argue QNX is inherently superior to Linux, to the extent that an underfunded company maintaining QNX would produce something more secure than the well-funded company maintaining Android, there's no point.

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