BlackBerry Ltd. is working on a flagship handset code-named Venice, as International Business Times recently reported. According to another recent report, however, the Canadian technology giant is also gearing up to release a slew of smartphones running the Android mobile operating system instead of the BlackBerry mobile OS. One such Android-powered device has reportedly been code-named BlackBerry Prague.
The BlackBerry-dedicated tech Website N4BB indicated there’s a good chance the BlackBerry Venice handset might not run the Android OS as previously reported. Instead, the BlackBerry Prague could be the first smartphone made by the tech giant to run Android.
The BlackBerry Prague is expected to be unveiled in August. The handset will feature not high-end but low-end specifications, with its form factor apparently resembling that of the budget-friendly BlackBerry Z3.
Technically, it is unclear as to how BlackBerry is going to make use of the Android operating system. N4BB suggested the tech titan might come up with a BlackBerry 10 skin for the Android OS. This would ensure seamless integration of portfolios.
Meanwhile, the big question in the tech world is: Why did BlackBerry opt for Android OS for its low-end handset? The answer to this question may lie in the details of the International Data Corp.’s latest “Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker” report, which provides fresh evidence indicating smartphone markets in developing countries are growing faster than those in developed countries.
According to IDC data interpreted by Network World last year, the Android OS is driving growth in the global smartphone market in general and in emerging economies in particular. IDC estimated last August that emerging markets would account for 73.5 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in 2014. To put this proportion in perspective, the research shop reported in March there were more than 1.3 billion such shipments last year. Among this whopping number, 81.5 percent were handsets running the Android OS. Needless to say, BlackBerry is interested in capturing a significant chunk of this massive market share by opting for its Android devices.