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BlackBerry considering release of Android-powered smartphone: report

BlackBerry considering release of Android-powered smartphone: report - image
Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

TORONTO – BlackBerry is exploring the option of releasing a smartphone that would run Google’s Android operating system instead of its own BlackBerry 10 OS, a new report claims.

According to a report by Reuters, the ailing smartphone maker is considering running Android on an “upcoming slider device” that will likely be released this fall. The report, which cites sources familiar with the matter, said the move would be part of BlackBerry’s push to focus on software and device management.

“We don’t comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched,” BlackBerry said in a statement to Reuters.

Google declined to comment on the report.

READ MORE: BlackBerry to lay off undisclosed number of employees worldwide

The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker has struggled to win back much market share from Apple and Android devices since releasing new phones, such as the BlackBerry Passport and Leap.

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Despite partnering with Amazon to bring its App Store to BlackBerry 10 users, the company has been widely criticized for the lack of big name apps available on its platform.

Some say releasing an Android-run device may help coax more consumers into buying a BlackBerry handset.

BlackBerry announced earlier this year it would release four new handsets, including the Leap, which was launched in Canada in May. During the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona in March, the company did briefly show off a slider phone, but provided no details on its potential release.

The report added that if BlackBerry did move forward with the decision to release an Android-run device, it would likely come with some “patented features” offered in BlackBerry 10.

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