As most of us here already know, recent leaks, renders, fake images, and supposed insider info has the BlackBerry community in an uproar. The community seems divided as to what is coming down the pipe and how it will impact BlackBerry and more importantly the handset division as a whole.
I have to admit, even among the ranks of UTB there has been endless discussion and back and forth as to the validity of the rumors and the impact it would have on BlackBerry. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about the much maligned and in some cases praised rumor of the Android based slider.
After a lengthy discussion with a couple UTB’s finest last night. I spent a lot of time thinking about this potential move and what could be driving it and what it would mean for BlackBerry and the community. I came to a couple of conclusions that in my opinion best explain this move if in fact that is what we are going to see.
As we all know BlackBerry is synonymous with security. Not even the most anti BlackBerry site can deny that. We also know that John Chen has already stated that the only way they would release an Android based device is if they can secure it. And if anyone can secure Android, its BlackBerry. The big question is, will it be as secure as BB10? The answer to that in my opinion is NO. BB10 was built from the ground up with security in mind. Android was not however, like I said, if anyone can secure the Swiss cheese that is Android, its BlackBerry. A company that prides itself on security would not simply ignore the fact and release a device that is just a me too Android.
With that said, the second thing that has the community reeling is what happens to BB10 if BlackBerry decided to go down this route? Will they cease to support the platform? Will it be the final nail in the coffin to our beloved OS which many including myself feel is the best and most robust OS on the market today save for the dreaded app word? I find this hard to believe and I think Chen has hinted to us that is not the case as well.
I do recall when John Chen admitted that apps have been the Achilles heel of the platform, he did state that he is working on “a couple” of things beyond the Amazon deal. Now I can’t begin to speculate what he was getting at but I would assume one of those things is likely an Android based device and the other…..well that’s anyone’s best guess at this point.
The fact of the matter is, a company that prides itself on privacy and security would have a hard time moving away from a platform they built from the ground up with just that in mind. Are they releasing an Android device? Likely yes. Will that mean the end of BB10? Anything is possible but when the whole business strategy and mission is on the line, it is highly unlikely.
Then why do it? First of all, BlackBerry has a lot of work to do to gain back consumers and shed the BBOS issues (spinning clock, lack of apps, etc) that many still associate with BlackBerry devices. An Android device will do just that. While this stigma is taken care of and the device business is profitable, John Chen can then focus on what they do best and that is the most secure OS on the market today, BB10.
In closing, BlackBerry has to do what it can to ensure a profitable hand set division at this point. I have no doubt that what we are seeing is not what it seems. There is likely things going on that not even the most revered “leaker” in the community has any clue about. It has to be the case otherwise everything that BlackBerry is built on will be for nothing if they are just another Android OEM.
The Gold standard for privacy in security will not disappoint and likely has some tricks up their sleeve. What those are, I can only speculate but time will tell.