Recent times have spelled doom and gloom for BlackBerry, particularly its mobile division, as it struggles to keep pace with other phone manufacturers. Contrary to what may be popular belief, however, the company will not give up on its homegrown BlackBerry 10 operating system and devices, reports CrackBerry.
In a recent interview with the outlet, BlackBerry’s chief operating officer, Marty Beard, downplayed media reports, saying that BlackBerry will instead double down on its operating systems and devices powered by it, though Beard did say that its roadmap depends on what BlackBerry customers want.
“Our roadmap is completely driven by our customers,” said Beard. “We are absolutely not backing away from BB10 because we have a huge amount of customers on BB10 and high expectations from that group. The company has never said that we would not build another BB10 device.”
To provide some context, BlackBerry continues to sell BB10-powered devices, including the Passport and Leap, though it recently discontinued the lukewarm Classic. As it pertains to software, BlackBerry plans to release BlackBerry 10.3.3 sometime next month, with another update slated for next year. Finally, Beard said its New York City pop-up store‘s best-selling device is the Passport.
As far as its Android-based offerings are concerned, Beard said BlackBerry’s slice of Android is just as unique to the company as BB10 is, and indicated that BlackBerry “is pulling all the top features from BB10 and adding it to its Android system, creating a hybrid that has the best of both worlds.”
Moving forward, Beard said BlackBerry’s next Android-based release is “very, very imminent,” though he did not give any specific date. The company’s Security Summit is on July 19, however, so an announcement could theoretically be made during the event.
It is refreshing to see a BlackBerry executive make such direct comments, but it is going to take more than just reassurance to get the firm out of the rut it currently finds itself in. BlackBerry may have surpassed expectations with its first quarter results, but its mobile division continues to see a decline in device sales. BlackBerry CEO John Chen remains bullish, believing the division will eventually make some cheddar.