A BlackBerry senior director has gone on record to The Economic Times with some of the most definitive language yet in acknowledging the end of the road for the BlackBerry 10 platform. The employee also revealed that the company is preparing two distinct Android handsets for launch at price points lower than that of the premium Priv.
In an interview on the occasion of Priv’s India launch, senior director of APAC product management Damian Tay told The Economic Times:
The Priv device is essentially our transition to Android ecosystem. As we secure Android, over a period of time, we would not have two platforms, and may have only Android as a platform. … The future is really Android.
This frank assessment is one of the most concrete we’ve yet heard about the presumed complete abandonment of BB10 — even more definitive than CEO John Chen’s revelation at last month’s CES that no devices powered by the operating system would be released this calendar year.
However, Chen still kept the door open by suggesting that a successful Android business might lead to a new round of BB10 handsets in 2017 or beyond — a concept that we were somewhat skeptical of.
BlackBerry has been attempting to maintain a delicate balancing act with respect to its messaging, following its announcement that an Android device was being developed. While it’s trying to draw in new customers with the popularity and app abundance enjoyed by the world’s most popular mobile OS, it’s also been careful to assure loyal BB10 fans that it has not forgotten them.
Separately, Tay reportedly told The Economic Times that BlackBerry will be adding two lower-priced Android phones to its lineup. Only one such handset, codenamed Vienna, has been seen thus far. At $700 ($925 in India), Priv is currently one of the higher-priced handsets on the market.