BlackBerry has recently announced that they will no longer make their own hardware, however, there were already rumours of another Android powered phone, including a physical keyboard, in the works.
It seems this device is very much real, and according to BlackBerry CEO John Chen it will be coming soon. There are no specifics about the device but if they continue with the trend of the keyboard devices being higher tier, BlackBerry could very well go out with an Android flavour bang.
With BlackBerry moving to a ‘licensing’ model where other OEMs will be able to brand their devices as BlackBerry, the question remains if those devices will maintain BlackBerry’s focus on security. Perhaps BlackBerry could adopt an Android One model where they provide the safe and secure software and OEMs make, market and sell the devices.
It’s unclear if this model will really work for them, with the Android ecosystem struggling to find profitability and BlackBerry’s popularity waning, it seems unlikely there would be too many OEMs wanting to make great phones under the BlackBerry brand.
It would be a shame if BlackBerry got the Polaroid or Kodak treatment and ended up in the brand bargain bin. Sometimes it’s better to burn out than to fade away.