Blackberry has been dabbling in the Android waters for some time now. Blackberry began integrating an Android layer in their Blackberry OS which allowed for limited Android app compatibility in recent times. In light of their fading market share, signs are growing stronger that a full blown Blackberry Android handset codenamed Venice is going to launch in the coming months.
The Venice has again leaked thanks to leaker Evan Blass through his @evleaks twitter account, which first showed that the phone will launch in November on all four US carriers (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T):
Evan has followed it up with some fairly impressive renders of the phone showing of the portrait sliding keyboard:
Before releasing an animated GIF of the device this morning:
From the pictures, the Blackberry Venice has a nice looking keyboard, similar in design to the Blackberry Passport that launched last year, though obviously the Venice is a slider.
The Blackberry Venice does seem to be a major departure from the Blackberry game plan, with what appears to be a full suite of Google Apps on the device. This would indicate a phone reliant on Google Play Services rather than a Blackberry back end, though it’s assured that we’d very likely see at least the BlackBerry Messenger app pre-installed on the Venice when it launches.
Timing for release in the US is November, and there’s no indication of a global launch of the phone, so we’ll have to wait and see.
I gotta say, that’s a nice looking phone.