The rumor is not new. In some shape or form, we’ve been expecting BlackBerry to reach to the dark Google side for salvation for several years now. It seems to be the Canadians’ only shot at a hardware business revival of sorts, and by extension, the company’s survival as a whole.
Granted, John Chen could always try to stop the ship from sinking by throwing the archaic QWERTY keyboard phones overboard and saving merely the semi-profitable software department. But that would obviously imply cutting thousands of jobs and settling for subsistence instead of aspiring to greatness.
Not an option yet, at least not until they experiment a little with an outside OS, probably to mutually beneficial effects. Come on, Android geeks, admit it. There may be something of value for us all in a BB recruitment on Big G’s team. Multiple advantages, actually, which we’d like to detail as follows:
Remnants of a time long past, these non-detachable “accessories” have to make a comeback in the Android landscape. They just have to. Businessmen, perennially on-the-run students or simply folks who live through typing need a user experience and interaction on-screen keyboards won’t ever be able to provide.
Sorry, SwiftKey and Swype, no matter how versatile and productive you get, you’re not the “real” deal. Meanwhile, the BlackBerry Classic is, and the awkwardly designed Passport comes pretty close. Now shut your eyes, imagine for a moment BB joins forces with Samsung and they devise a high-end QWERTY/touch hybrid powered by a lightly forked Android iteration.
Something to borrow the robustness and professionalism of BlackBerries, and at least part of the Galaxy S-series glitz. Sounds too good to be true? Unfortunately, we’re dreaming here and grasping at straws, really, when likely the best QWERTY Android around is the two year-old Jelly Bean-running LG Enact.
Waterloo’s CEO may have wanted to exhibit tact when invoking the reason his outfit can’t dive into shark-infested Android waters yet, but he sure struck a nerve among malware-concerned mobile enthusiasts.
Let’s not beat it around the bush, stock Android has a security problem. And so far, Samsung, LG, Sony or HTC’s proprietary skins haven’t managed to deal with it in a universally satisfactory manner. Could BlackBerry perhaps reduce the typical risks associated with Google-powered devices?
Definitely, but of course, they need to modify code, customize features and even remove certain Google services, replacing them with their own. Do we want that? Not all of us, yet some would love, love, love the alternative.
Speaking of alternatives, wouldn’t it also be nice to find a balance between Eastern and Western tech forces? Clearly, gadget reliability doesn’t depend on geography, but stubborn, patriotic, slightly prejudiced North Americans will always show reservations to Chinese brands, favoring local companies… if they get the choice.
If they don’t, they’ll go the Apple route and we obviously don’t want that. Call us haters, but Cupertino needs to lose a few market share points to once and for all align prices with real iPhone value. So, we’d like to see BB regain its lost touch, especially since they know how it feels at the peak of the totem pole and we trust they won’t allow themselves to tumble a second time.
Unpopular opinion – Android skins aren’t inherently bad or counterproductive. Samsung is this close to making TouchWiz not only prettier than its vanilla kin, but also smoother, faster and easier to master for novice users. Don’t shoot the messenger!
Now, HTC’s Sense UI is all that’s wrong with third-party “optimization”, and Amazon’s Fire OS is a fiasco of closed-mindedness, rival envy and ego. Narrowly behind Samsung, we’d probably list LG as the designer of a convenient, minimally intrusive interface that’s greatly evolved over the years.
If BlackBerry decides to follow the path of Android adoption and alteration, you have to figure they’ll tweak a number of things, particularly in the privacy department, but as long as they offer full access to Google Play, we’re game.
There’s also the question of updates, handled by the Canadians themselves when it comes to BlackBerry OS (duh), but likely contingent on multiple factors if our dream scenario pans out. Ideally, Google would understand the perks of collaborating with a security specialist of this magnitude, and who knows, maybe they’ll unite forces to make stock Android the best it can be.
A touch of safety renovation never killed an open OS, did it?
Great brands live forever
Consider this – if Nokia were to return next year (which is more than likely, by the by) with a super-sturdy handheld sporting a phenomenal camera and cutting-edge internals all in all, would you be interested? Intrigued, at least?
Of course you would, regardless of their lengthy struggles, Microsoft dumping and the eternity passed from their last hit. It’s the same with BlackBerry, whose esteemed name will stick to people’s brains until long after the Prague debuts, no matter if it strikes gold or flops as hard as the Z10.
This isn’t an ephemeral champ we’re talking about, with its 15 minutes of fame over and done. It’s an enterprise destined for enduring success going through a lousy phase. It’d be a shame for this to be the end, and it’d be too bad if Google and Samsung didn’t realize the comeback potential.
Go on, give them a hand for the sake of the entire industry, future developments, breakthroughs and progress. They’ll be always in your debt, even when if back on top.