Is this BlackBerry’s first Android phone?

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Blackberry seems to have finally shed all qualms about Android and is ready to hog the platform.

There have been rumours of the possibility of BlackBerry releasing an Android device this year. The device, called Venice, will run Google’s mobile OS and complete suite of apps, Droid Life reported.

According to a leaked press render, the device looks rather elegant, featuring a rounded front display, complete with microUSB, headphone jack, and large speaker.

However, this is not all. The display can slide up, revealing a full keyboard for those who wish to use one. Venice, in that way, seems to be a blend of modern design and a bit nostalgia.

The Venice will be hitting AT&T’s network, but there is no timeframe for the release.

As shown in the render, the device looks to be running all of Google’s applications, meaning the device will likely have access to Google Play.

The move would be an about-face for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which had shunned Android in a bet that its BlackBerry 10 line of phones would be able to claw back market share lost to Apple’s iPhone and a slew of devices powered by Android.

The sources, who asked not to be named as they have not been authorised to discuss the matter publicly, said the move to use Android is part of BlackBerry’s strategy to pivot to focus on software and device management. BlackBerry, which once dominated smartphone sales, now has a market share of less than 1 per cent.

It is not clear whether a move to use Android would spell the end of the company’s BlackBerry 10 line of devices that were initially launched to much fanfare in early 2013. After positive early reviews, the late-to-launch BlackBerry devices haven’t competed well with Android or Apple, mainly due to a lack of big name apps.

(ibnlive.com)

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