BlackBerry ‘Venice’ Android Images Leaked

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The new images are the latest to fuel speculation that BlackBerry may be preparing to release an Android device

Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry said it remains “committed” to its in-house operating system, after images appeared online indicating the company may be on the verge of releasing an Android-powered handset.

The latest images, posted on Twitter by technology writer Evan Blass on his “evleaks” feed, follow images from July, also posted by Blass, that showed Android running on a device similar in form to BlackBerry’s Passport.

BlackBerry Logo

The new images display a black handset whose form is closer to that of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge, with a curved display wrapping around the sides of the device.

The pictured device includes a keyboard that slides out from the handset’s base. Such keyboards were a signature of the BlackBerry devices that led the smartphone market before the arrival of the iPhone.

Blass also posted an animated GIF demonstrating the keyboard’s sliding action.

Android speculation

The images are the latest to fuel speculation that BlackBerry’s upcoming handset, code-named “Venice” and expected to be released by US network operators in November, will offer Google’s Android, at least as an option. If so, it would be the first BlackBerry handset to do so.

The company’s own BlackBerry 10 operating system allows users to run Android applications, but only the limited selection available on Amazon’s App Store. BlackBerry’s BES12 device management system allows the management of Android, iOS and Windows devices along with BlackBerry phones.

BlackBerry has maintaned that its own operating system offers better security and enterprise management features than Android or Apple’s iOS.

The company said it would stick by its software.

“We don’t comment on rumors or 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.

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