BlackBerry has quietly launched its new Z30 BlackBerry 10 flagship device in a low key event in Malaysia. Ironically the most significant aspect of this launch is the Android 4.2.2 runtime.
When a company issues a press release to announce its latest and greatest, you know it is in trouble. BlackBerry new Z30 sports a 5-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, a 1.7 GHz dual core Qualcomm processor and 2 gigabytes of RAM. It will now wow the Android crowd. The iOS enthusiasts are not likely to give it a glance. Even the Windows Phone users are likely to greet it with a yawn, while waiting for their own 1080p monster phones which are now in the pipeline to launch. The BlackBerry Z30 won’t save the company.
But the launch of the BlackBerry Z30 will also be accompanied by BlackBerry 10.2 which now supports the Jelly Bean, Android 4.2.2 runtime. BlackBerry 10.2 will start seeding to the BlackBerry Z10, Q10 and Q5 by mid-October. Android apps can be easily ported to BlackBerry 10, but the previous BlackBerry 10 releases only supported Android 2.3, Gingerbread apps.
When BlackBerry 10.2 seeds to the BlackBerry 10 devices in the market, it would mean that more Android developers would be able to port their apps to BlackBerry and have access to a 4 to 5 million phone market. Given that BlackBerry 10 devices sell at the higher mid-range prices, this would mean several million new customers for Android app developers wanting to find new sources of revenue for their existing apps. One of the apps that will be available right away will be Flipboard. It needs the Android 4.2.2 runtime to run on BlackBerry 10. More Android ported apps will in turn will also benefit BlackBerry 10 owners.
Similarly, when the Jolla Sailfish OS phones hit the market, Sailfish will support Android apps through official app stores. Android Developers won’t even have to worry about porting the apps to Sailfish. Google Play is not likely to be among them though.
All-in-all, a bit of good news for Android Developers.
Image Credit: BlackBerry through CrackBerry