File this one under ‘faintly plausible rumours’: BlackBerry is planning to launch a smartphone running Android sometime this autumn, at least according to a number of sources quoted by Reuters.
Per the report, the handset will be a slider, with a physical keyboard that folds out portrait. That sounds remarkably similar to the device that BlackBerry recently teased at Mobile World Congress, which had a curved screen and a fold-out keyboard. Although, judging from the blurry press photo that went along with the release, seen above, that handset was running BlackBerry 10.
An Android phone would be the ultimate admission that the BB10 project, which was meant to be the saviour of the company, has failed (something the rest of the world is more or less in agreement on, by the way). With device sales falling and no-one bothering to build apps for BlackBerry’s OS, an Android phone would be a way for the company to hang onto its remaining crown jewels: namely, a hardcore fan-base with a fetish for devices with physical keyboards, and a few pieces of useful enterprise software. [Reuters]