We’ve heard a ton of whispers as of late regarding BlackBerry’s potential foray into the Android world, and it seems as though these rumors are picking up steam. Just last week popular leaker @evleaks posted a photo online of what’s supposedly dubbed the BlackBerry Venice – an AT&T-bound Android device with a slide-out keyboard. Concrete details have yet to surface when it comes to the rumored Venice handset. However, a recent partnership between two major companies may lend further credence to the rumors claiming a BlackBerry Android handset is on its way.
On Tuesday, July 7th, BlackBerry Limited (formerly RIM) registered for two different domain names: AndroidSecured.com and AndroidSecured.net. Navigating to the .net domain results in an error, but if you head to AndroidSecured.com, it redirects you to a curious page announcing a new partnership between BlackBerry and Google. This partnership was first announced back in February, so this isn’t really anything new. Even so, this new website contains some previously unknown details about the two companies’ efforts, which may signal that we could expect to see something more than just an enterprise partnership.
The website features a header that reads “Bring Android to work”, along with some information showcasing the security features of Android Lollipop and the newly-updated BES12 platform. Additionally, the website explains:
BlackBerry and Google are working closely together to set new standards in enterprise mobile security for organizations deploying Android devices.
BES12’s update to 12.2 brings a number of notable features including the ability to manage devices using Samsung KNOX, as well as Android for Work integration that will offer enhanced security and simplified management options. The website goes in to more detail explaining new features that Android and BES12 can offer enterprise customers and that a 60-day free trial of BES12 is also available for interested customers.
Read more: 4 ways BlackBerry can be unique on Android
Although the slew of new security features being offered in BES12 are quite interesting, that’s not the most important thing here. We now know that BlackBerry and Google are working closely together on the enterprise front for organizations that would like to deploy Android devices to their employees. No, this doesn’t confirm nor deny the existence of an Android-powered BlackBerry device. But with a new partnership formed by the two companies and with Android Lollipop being showcased on the website’s forefront, this might be our first real evidence that we could see a BlackBerry-made device running Lollipop geared towards the enterprise.
After all, it’s clear that BlackBerry’s biggest selling points are its enterprise security features, and the company’s CEO even explained in an interview that BlackBerry is not opposed to building an Android device, as long as it’s secure. Perhaps the whole purpose behind the BlackBerry Venice is to showcase the security features BlackBerry has to offer, while also giving enterprise customers a more attractive OS and access to Google Play Services. BlackBerry doesn’t need to build an Android device to showcase what its hardware can do – the software is what matters, and that’s likely what we’re witnessing here.
Like I said previously, nothing is confirmed at this moment regarding the Venice. But this new partnership might be our first glimpse into what’s to come from the two companies. What are your thoughts? Do you have any speculation concerning this new partnership? Or do you think nothing will come of it? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.