While it has been known for some time that once-powerful smartphone maker Blackberry is going to be making Android powered smartphones, late yesterday the plans appeared to crystallize as known leaker @evleaks published a screenshot showing what the first device will look like.
The published photo, above, shows what appears to be a the square shaped Passport running Android, as can be seen from Google's distinctive keyboard design.
The image shows the radical change of Blackberry's strategy, which once centered around the latest and greatest phones in terms of both hardware and designs. This same strategy was used by Apple, Samsung, Sony and others resulting in incredible pricing pressure.
According to the leaked photo Blackberry, after suffering a string of losses playing this game, has now decidedly focused on lower end, mass market phones. The new Android powered phone will likely be nearly identical to the current Passport yet feature the Android operating system instead of Blackberry OS. This means it will be a low cost, lower risk bet for the troubled Canadian company.
@evleaks also confirmed yesterday that AT&T will receive the U.S. exclusive for the BlackBerry ‘Venice’, the company’s flagship curved-edge slider set to hit the market this fall. Its likely that the new Android device will also hit the carrier around the same time.
There are no indications that further models will receive Android as an operating system as the company is likely using the debut model to test the waters and gauge whether further Android powered phones are financially viable.