BlackBerry Could Launch Two Android Smartphones This Year
BlackBerry has taken a beating in the smartphone market in the last few years. It has been reported that the company could announce leaving the hardware space altogether, but despite that, there are murmurs that suggest that it could release not one but two Android smartphones this year.
The company is planning to launch two smartphones dubbed Hamburg and Rome, which could run on Android. Rome could actually be a high end device like the recently launched Priv, which will come with a keyboard and a touchscreen. The Hamburg could be a mid range smartphone with only a touchscreen.
This news comes alongside rumours of a phone called the Vienna, which has been reported to have full QWERTY keyboard in the style of classic BlackBerry smartphones. BlackBerry was slated to launch the product at an event in Mobile World Congress in February, but that never happened.
Of late, chatter has increased that Blackberry could actually be planning an exit from the smartphone market. An analyst has already said that it will announce the exit from the hardware business on April 2 on its Q4 earnings call.
It has been said that if it offloads its hardware business it will be in a healthier position as a software company. Almost 50 per cent of its R&D expenditure goes into its smartphones, which has been bleeding money.
In fact, its BB10 smartphone platform has bombed. Developers are quickly dropping support for it. This also includes Facebook which will discontinue support for its app on BB10. Later in the year, even WhatsApp will drop support for it.
Even its latest overture in the Android space hasn’t set the market on fire. For the Priv smartphone BlackBerry reworked the Android kernel to add functionality that BlackBerry is known for. That must’ve been a burden on the company, so it remains to be seen if it is really going to launch any more phones or not.