BLACKBERRY HAS clarified its position on BlackBerry 10 (BB10) after CEO John Chen told a reporter last week that no new non-Android devices would appear in 2016.
Chen said during an interview with CNET at this year's CES in Las Vegas that there would be only Android handsets released by BlackBerry this year. It follows the largely positive reaction to last year's BlackBerry Privy (make sure you clean around the RIM), the company's first Android phone, focused on privacy and really called the Priv. We just like toilet jokes.
However, in a statement sent to The INQUIRER, a spokesman rebuffed the remarks, pointing out that BlackBerry is committed to progressing the platform during 2016.
"BlackBerry remains committed to the BB10 operating system. In the near-term, we are focused on software updates for BB10, with version 10.3.3 scheduled for early 2016 and 10.3.4 later this year," he said.
"Our next update, 10.3.3, will be certified for NIAP compliance. This means BB10 will have passed the strictest government-grade security certifications. This achievement will enable us to further support our government and regulated customers who use BB10 devices and demand the highest levels of security.
"Our next device being developed is an Android-based phone. Further details about our future roadmap will be communicated at a later date."
The Priv was seen by some BlackBerry die-hards as the end of an era, as many people see BB10, the most recent proprietary OS from the company, as the pinnacle of mobile wonderfulness.
Chen said about sales of the Priv: "So far, so good. I'm taking a cautiously optimistic view."
The handset is set to launch with even more carriers in the US and in 31 new territories during 2016, and it's clear that the Canadian company, which has seen its share of the market peter away to almost nothing in recent years, has realised that Android is the only way to save the business.
Chen is not alone. An angry Steve Ballmer recently told the Microsoft board of his frustration that Windows Phones were still not offering access to the Android ecosystem.
But there's still a crumb of comfort because, although BB10 is on hold, it certainly isn't gone for good. National Security certification would open doors to a lot of government projects and top secret affairs.
If you're a die-hard, the current product line isn't going away and will continue to be supported. There'll just be no new BB10 devices this year.
Meanwhile, professional arse and East of West Kim Kardashian will continue to burble on about how great BlackBerrys are and not even notice the change in operating system. µ
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