Rumored Android-powered BlackBerry might now have a name

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 things to look for from BlackBerry.

According to Chan, the tech firm ought to jettison its BlackBerry 10 operating system, the linchpin of its highly secure ecosystem for mobile phones, in favour of Google Inc.’s Android platform.BlackBerry’s upcoming Android phone has been called “Venice” for quite some time, but that’s apparently nothing but a moniker meant to be shed and replaced by its real model name.CEO John Chen has vowed to sharply increase revenue from mobile device management software and from secure enterprise server licensing fees to make up for plunging contributions from handset sales.“In addition to growing hardware revenue, we believe the adoption of Android would allow BlackBerry to significantly reduce costs in its Devices business and lower the breakeven revenue level”.

Previous rumors and conjectures suggested that the first Android phone from BlackBerry would be called Venice, however it seems like the phone will instead be named the BlackBerry Priv. As well as the fact that the BlackBerry Venice aka BlackBerry Priv will be running Android, it has another point of interest because it’s a slider smartphone with a physical slideout keyboard. The company has made several acquisitions to grow its non-hardware offerings, culminating in the US$425-million takeover of Good Technology Corp. earlier this month. BlackBerry is expected to release the Venice Android slider smartphone in November this year and the device will be available at all the four major carriers in the U.S. Buying Good will help get BlackBerry closer to Chen’s goal of US$500-million in software revenue by March 2016 and removes a key competitor to its business of providing programming aimed at helping companies track and secure mobile devices.

Phones still account for more than 40 per cent of the company’s revenue, however, and BlackBerry has long said running its own operating system allows it to make sure the devices live up to its reputation for security. While Chen made an huge stride in revamping BlackBerry’s device business by outsourcing manufacturing and development to avoid repeats of the inventory buildups that had long plagued the company, Scotia’s Chan explains why a more radical change would be beneficial. While BlackBerry is seen posting a money-losing quarter, it is still expected to report more than $1.766 billion in net cash after debt, bolstered by one-time items and disciplined spending control. Investors and analysts will be looking to see how much progress Chen has made towards the US$500-million goal as BlackBerry handset sales continue to drop despite new phones debuted in the last year, such as the keyboard-equipped Classic and square-screened Passport. BlackBerry has said it expects its acquisition of secure mobile platform company Good Technology to add $160 million to fiscal 2016 software sales, despite a short-term drag on earnings reflecting the $425 million purchase price.

The market share of BlackBerry devices has continued to decline since the launch of this operating system, as access to a number of Android apps through the Amazon app store has not been a panacea. You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you. BlackBerry has provided their new models with an impressive camera of 18 MP and a 5.4-inch screen, which make the device the best platform for video and gaming activities.

With roughly two-thirds of the company’s research and development costs dedicated to the device business, the analyst said the company can save $266 million per year by discontinuing its current operating system. Chen has outsourced some manufacturing and continues to pare jobs as he seeks to break even on hardware, which he calls a necessary platform for building software sales. Chen has been guarded about reports that BlackBerry is building a phone using Google’s Android open-source operating system, which could be fortified with BlackBerry security features. Some analysts say Android would broaden Blackberry’s hardware reach, while others suggest it would undermine the company’s’ reputation for secure mobile solutions.

It would be a difficult balancing act for BlackBerry to augment the Android operating system with many of its native security features and still receive approval from Google for its use. Chen has said organic growth is not sufficient to meet the company’s software revenue target and has acquired smaller companies with a focus on boosting mobile security. The Good Technology deal is not expected to close until the third quarter, but Chen could highlight revenue brought in by other acquired enterprises, such as Secusmart and WatchDox, and from long-term division QNX, which provides auto infotainment systems. But any move away from the BB10 operating system would have to wait an indefinite amount of time due to pre-existing contracts the firm has to fulfill.

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