Blackberry is making an Android phone

As has long been rumoured, troubled smartphone manufacturer Blackberry is making the jump to Android.

VentureBeat reports that the company has confirmed that it plans to launch a flagship handheld device that will run on the Android operating system with BlackBerry security”.

The device itself is called Priv and stays true to the Blackberry ethos by incorporating a physical keyboard. The pitch is that Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform”.

Blackberry isn’t (yet) scrapping its own OS, with work on Blackberry 10 apparently ongoing

Priv is expected to launch some time before the end of the year.

The announcement comes after what can rightly be described as a torrid few years for the once buoyant company. Against a backdrop of collapsing handset sales and tumbling share prices (in July 2007 the company was trading at 230.52 – today it trades at 7.03) Blackberry execs have made a string of public blunders that have savaged Blackberry’s reputation.

In May 2013 chief executive Thorsten Heins predicted the death of tablet computers by 2018. A year later chief executive John Chen called iPhone users wall huggers” in a jibe about battery life before earlier this year arguing that Apple should legally be forced to release its apps on Blackberry.

It was also rumoured in 2013 that returns of its then new flagship Z10 handset were outnumbering sales of the device.

And don’t forget Stephen Bates’ painful 2013 interview on Radio 5Live.

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