The ambitious BlackBerry Venice smartphone powered by Android is gearing up for release. All the leaked photos and specifications point to a new device with cutting-edge configurations on board. BlackBerry CEO John Chen is expected to be unveiling the Venice in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, Chen attended the Waterloo Innovation Summit and shared some insights about where the company is headed.

During the Waterloo Innovation Summit, John Chen apparently acknowledged the idea of building a device that takes the consumers by surprise and in turn, creates buzz. A video of the conference uploaded in YouTube shows the executive saying that he would like to claim the "sexiness" back that BlackBerry enjoyed during its heyday in 2007. It is worth noting that around 2007, many corporate houses and businesses used BlackBerry as work device.

Chen also admitted that it is now trendy to purchase an Apple device by cheekily referring the tech giant as "the other fruit company," Phone Arena reported. He nostalgically remembered 2007 time period by saying, “it was a badge of honor to own a BlackBerry” device.

After reminiscing the past, he was quick to give some insight on the recovery path laid out for BlackBerry. "We kind of lost that sexiness. So the question is how do we recover that?" Chen asked. Even though, he didn’t give in-depth details on the BlackBerry Venice, it was quite understandable that the executive was referring to the upcoming heavily-rumored device.

Meanwhile, he was quick to make sure BlackBerry 10 die-hard fans don’t get disappointed with the rumors about moving to Android. He said, BlackBerry 10 OS will not be replaced by Google’s Android OS in totality. In his own words: "We don't comment on rumors and speculations, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched."

This means, BlackBerry has not switched to Android completely, however, as rumored earlier, the Venice will make use of BlackBerry 10 as Android skin and thereby, key features of BlackBerry OS will be retained.

Here, check out the excerpt from CEO John Chen’s interview:  (Credit: YouTube/uwaterloo)