15 Mar 2012

Android OS running on a BlackBerry device

Imagine Android running on a BlackBerry device. It’s not a new idea but I can not believe that RIM has not released a droid - it would put them back in the game.

I have always believed that BlackBerry is about the services, not the hardware, but the domination of touch only smartphones has made me change my mind. I really love physical keyboards and I have a hard time imagining more than 1 or 2 Android devices that offer a physical QWERTY. To me there is an obvious gap in the market here that could very obviously be filled by the handset maker that has always made the best physical keyboards – RIM.

But what about those services I was talking about? Yes I know, anyone without a BlackBerry is sick (to death) of hearing about how awesome BIS / BES is. But here it is again – The BlackBerry Internet Service is awesome and unlimited browsing / email would only compliment the Android offering. I know that similar data packages are on their way for non-BlackBerry devices to prove this point either way, so RIM is slow off the mark here.

BBM would come along for the ride and what better way to introduce BlackBerry messaging to the Android ecosystem than on BlackBerry devices running Android? But I think the greater messaging offering that BlackBerry could bring to Android is in email. Email is an area that BlackBerry has handled really well (historically) and where Android is lacking – “shouldn't Android have a consistent, native app that rivals the iPhone?”. I’m sure that email on Android is another gap that RIM could innovate in.

The advantages for RIM in releasing Android on BlackBerry are numerous. Android would make RIM relevant again.

In the real world, perhaps a BlackBerry /Android hybrid wouldn’t have ALL the pros of both BlackBerry and Android but when I imagine it I see synergy and I think it will be a real shame if we never see Android running on BlackBerry. 

Will it ever happen? My guess is that RIM will probably substitute BB OS for Windows phone if they do venture out into a different operating system, but who knows?

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