We were all hoping for info from the IFA on the BlackBerry Venice. It appears we received what we wanted, with the name of the device, and a confirmation of Android as well as the much hoped for confirmation that there would be no Android Passport.
Some of the comments we’re already receiving, shows reaction I was not expecting. When I heard the news, I breathed a sigh of relief, as everything finally clicked in to place for me. Allow me to explain, while understanding this is all speculation, based on what we’ve been hearing and seeing for the past few months.
BlackBerry 10 is safe!
There’s been so many rumors discussed, both here and elsewhere, of different ways that BlackBerry could pull off an Android device. From a dual-boot hypervisor solution, to a hybrid OS, to even dropping BB10 altogether! Today, we find out that’s not the case. The Avenger shall be Android, with Google Services, some of which will be going through BlackBerry infrastructure, which should tell us, this is how BlackBerry will secure Android.
We have all seen the images by now of the slider running Android. One of the things that made many of us believe they were false, was that it was running pure Android with no BlackBerry skin, not even the BlackBerry apps we’re used to seeing. This is now a relief to me for two reasons.
1. This Android Avenger is not meant for the BlackBerry fan. Perhaps there will be a BB10 version, who knows? This Android version though, this is made for Android users. And for marketing materials, why scare off androidians with BlackBerry apps showing in images? Leave it as to what they’re used to.
2. By running pure Android, we see that BlackBerry HAS NOT switched focus. Resources have not been poured in to creating a BlackBerry Android. It is in fact, simply Android, which BlackBerry can dump the BlackBerry Experience Suite on, a product that was already in development for BES customers, and R&D costs can continue on their core businesses, of which, my favorite, BB10 is one.
A sound business decision
Nothing from BlackBerry has grabbed media attention like this for years. Well, nothing good anyway. And this has BlackBerry on people’s minds again. We already know many people that have left BlackBerry, look back fondly at their past BlackBerry phones, and nothing BlackBerry has done, has brought them back in volume, perhaps this will. We’ve heard rumors that this phone will be in all four American carriers. This in itself is huge if true, and if it sells decently, can show carriers that BlackBerry is still kicking, allowing further BlackBerry handsets in carrier locations.
So what is the Avenger? I see it as two things. A proof of concept, showing that BlackBerry can secure an Android phone. If BlackBerry shows that they can do something that the Google and Samsung giants have not been able to do with all their resources, that is an undeniable win for BlackBerry. Secondly, and the idea I’m most excited about, it’s a cash grab. Running pure Android, dropping the Experience Suite on it, this is little to no development costs for BlackBerry. There are rumors swirling that the device had help from Samsung in design, which if true, could cut that cost down. Now if they can sell this phone to Android users, that is adding an entire new customer base to BlackBerry, one which they need. This can return the handset division to profitability, and allow for even more BB10 development.
All in all, these are great things! And considering all the other possibilities that have been thrown about, in my opinion, the best possible solution. So for all those that are claiming it’s over for BB10 now, take a step back, take a breath and look at it again. BB10 fans will not be switching to android. Don’t be a Chicken Little. The sky is not falling. It’s opening up to great things!