Is all BlackBerry needed to return to smartphone relevancy a new operating system? Last year’s Priv may have been the most controversial move the company’s made in recent years, dropping BlackBerry 10 OS in favor of good-old ubiquitous Android, and while that choice was a substantial gamble, it’s sure looking to be one that’s paying off; look no further than the news we received earlier today about plans to bring the Priv to a bunch of new carriers, including those who had previously distanced their lineups from the manufacturer’s phones. Now that BlackBerry’s got the taste of success fresh on its tongue, it may be difficult for it to return to old habits, and today at CES we get word that the company’s immediate future is very much Android-focused.
We already knew that BlackBerry was looking into following the Priv up with a new Android model, but the subject of what this infatuation with Android meant for BB10 was one that had so far gone unaddressed.
At CES 2016 today, BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed both those plans for a new Android-running model this year, as well as the possibility of launching another Android-fueled handset. But those two phones – if the company did indeed make both – would form the entirety of its current-year lineup.
That spells no new BB10 phones on the horizon, and while Chen wouldn’t go so far as to announce that the ship has sailed on his company’s in-house platform, the utter lack of such models on its 2016 roadmap is not a very promising sign for users nostalgic of BlackBerry’s glory days, standing out on its own.
Granted, BlackBerry’s still got plenty of exclusive software it layers on top of Android, but will that be enough to help distinguish its offerings on the very crowded Android playing field? Or are the BlackBerry name and features like those increasingly hard-to-find-elsewhere hardware keyboards sufficient? It sure looks like we’re about to find out.
Pocketnow’s CES 2016 coverage is made possible by dbrand, the boss of vinyl skins for smartphones, tablets, wearables and more. For the most precise fit on earth, visit http://dbrand.com.