Last month, Reuters reported that BlackBerry was considering such a device and on Friday, leaked renders of the BlackBerry Venice running Android appeared from noted industry tipster Evan Blass:
The rendered image resembles the BlackBerry slider phone the company briefly showed off earlier this year at Mobile World Congress 2015. That device had a full touchscreen covering a sliding hardware keyboard.
If the Venice does arrive with Android — rumored to be coming to AT&T — it won’t be the first tie-in with Google’s mobile platform. After launching the 7-inch BlackBerry Playbook, the company added Android app support to help flesh out third-party software for the tablet. And more recently, BlackBerry integrated Amazon’s Appstore on its phones; those apps are actually Android-compatible as well.
The company has already spent considerable time and effort to get the Android ecosystem on BlackBerry handsets while also building its own apps for the platform; as well as for iOS and Windows Phone. It’s clear based on market share and sales that the world isn’t quite clamoring for BlackBerry’s OS, so why not provide the more popular Android experience?
The company can supplement it with BBM, BlackBerry Blend and BBM Meetings for Android along with future apps and services to far wider audience.