BlackBerry Android Affair Spelling Death For BB10? 'Far From It,' Says The Company
BlackBerry has a newfound love for Android, but the company insists that this new direction does not mean the death of its own BB10 OS.
It's no big secret that BlackBerry has been struggling in recent years to keep its head above water as rival smartphone makers soared to the top and left it eating dust. If BlackBerry was once the king of the smartphone market, Android and iOS are now dominant and the Canadian OEM barely manages to stay relevant.
The best move for BlackBerry was to align with the current trend and forge an alliance with Android, which is exactly what it did with its much-touted BlackBerry Priv. If you can't beat them, join them, right?
Not only did BlackBerry launch its first Android handset with the BlackBerry Priv, but the company also said at CES 2016 that it plans to launch at least one more Android smartphone in 2016. Moreover, the BlackBerry Priv is significantly expanding with global carrier support, greatly widening its availability.
Also at CES 2016, BlackBerry announced its plans to enter the self-driving car race with its QNX software for autonomous vehicles.
While these big announcements stirred lots of interest, BlackBerry loyalists were left wondering whether the company is moving away from its own BlackBerry OS to focus solely on other endeavors such as Android and QNX.
Despite these new plans, however, BlackBerry promises that it has not forgotten about its own BB10, and it will not abandon the platform.
"As we shift our energies toward all these exciting opportunities, does that mean the BlackBerry 10 operating system is dead? Far from it," BlackBerry noted in a company blog post.
The company further highlighted that owners of BlackBerry 10 smartphones such as the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Classic or other handsets running BB10 can look forward to many treats this year, including a slew of privacy and security enhancements set to roll out in 2016.
The upcoming BB10.3.3 build will boast a certification for NIAP compliance, which means that it meets the toughest government-grade security standards. With this certification ensuring the highest levels of security, BlackBerry will be able to continue supporting both government and regulated customers relying on BB10 devices. Moreover, BB10.3.4 will roll out later in 2016 with an additional number of security improvements under its belt, reiterating the company's commitment to security.
In other words, BlackBerry will come up with another Android smartphone this year, but it will also continue supporting its BB10 OS and rolling out important new updates and improvements. Android is just a new horizon for BlackBerry, but it will not mean the demise of BB10.