BlackBerry is preparing to release at least one new smartphone this year, and it will almost certainly be running on Android. At least this is the plan that BlackBerry CEO John Chen has in mind, although he has said that there could potentially be a second Android powered phone released this year as well.
This news may come as a disappointment for fans of the BB10 software, although it may reverse the fortunes of the struggling company. Chen has declined to comment on when these new phones will be released; although to be fair, the BlackBerry’s first Android phone was launched very recently.
It is difficult to say how the BlackBerry Priv is performing in the market. As far as anyone can tell, stocks of the device have been extremely limited; and it is only slowly beginning to go on sale here in Malaysia. Still, it looks like there has been enough interest generated to convince Chen that Android is the right way to go.
Chen told CNET in an interview at CES that he believes that 2016 is a make or break year for the company’s smartphones. If they fail to perform, he may look into dumping the business altogether.
That being said, BlackBerry is not giving up on its own BB10 platform. The company is still working on getting national security certification for its newer devices, which would allow it to be used in more sensitive parts of the US government. The company will also still be offering its older BB10 smartphones like the BlackBerry Classic; although there will be no new hardware coming this year.