BlackBerry may Adopt Android on Next Devices

blackberry classicBlackBerry is reportedly considering equipping one of its upcoming devices with Googles Android operating system, the first time the manufacturer has adopted an operating system other than its own.

The move would be a powerful acknowledgement that the companys relaunched line of devices has failed to gain mass appeal among consumers or developers, leaving the line sorely lacking in apps beyond those produced by BlackBerry itself.

According to Reuters, four sources familiar with the matter have confirmed the move, but neither BlackBerry nor Google have commented on the rumours, and a BlackBerry spokesperson has reaffirmed the companys commitment to its BlackBerry 10 operating system.

Making use of Android would be a considerable step back for the once popular brand that has seen UK users drop below 1m in recent years. The company has had to increasingly lean on its enterprise users for support, with CEO John Chen banking on the firms new device management system to bring corporate and government clients back to the fold.

Chen recently penned an open letter to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, calling for app neutrality and arguing that developers refusal to port apps over to BlackBerrys OS was discriminatory and created a two-tiered system.

Creating an Android device with both a large touchscreen and BlackBerrys signature physical keyboard could well establish a niche in the market for the company, and bring old BlackBerry users back who left the device for Androids wider choice of apps.