BlackBerry to Release Android-powered Smartphone?

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BlackBerry to Release Android-powered Smartphone?:

BlackBerry is condering releasing a smartphone that’s powered by Google’s Android operating system, reports Reuters.

The move would be an about-face for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which had shunned Android in a bet that its BlackBerry 10 line of phones would be able to claw back market share lost to Apple’s iPhone and a slew of devices powered by Android.

The sources claim that the move is part of BlackBerry’s strategy to focus on software and device management, instead of mobile operating systems. BES12, BlackBerry’s device management system, helps corporate and government clients manage devices on their own internal networks. BlackBerry once dominated smartphone sales, but now has a marketshare of less than 1 percent.

The rumored Android device would be an upcoming slider phone that would likely be released this fall, according to sources. The smartphone could offer a slide out physical keyboard, as well as a touch screen.

It remains unclear if the BlackBerry’s launch of an Android smartphone would mean the end of the BlackBerry 10 devices that the company launched in early 2013. While the new line of smartphones has seen positive reviews, BlackBerry continues to struggle against Apple and Android due to a lack of developers writing apps for the operating system.

BlackBerry issued the following statement in response to the rumors: “We don’t comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched.”