Every smartphone BlackBerry has released in the past year has run Google’s Android operating system. But the company continues to support older phones that run its own BlackBerry 10 OS, and in an interview with The Register, BlackBerry VP Alex Thurber says the company is open to licensing BlackBerry 10 to other device makers.
It remains to be seen whether that’ll actually happen.
A big part of the reason BlackBerry is selling Android phones these days is because people weren’t buying BlackBerry OS phones anymore.
But the operating system has a reputation for business class communications, calendar, and security features and it’s possible that companies looking to make niche phones for enterprise customers could see value in the platform. Thurber says “some companies are interested” in licensing the software.
Whether or not that happens, BlackBerry has been transitioning from a company that produces its own hardware to one that’s focused on software. You can already run a suite of BlackBerry apps on many Android phones, and Thurber says many companies are interested in licensing the software to include on their devices.
Meanwhile, BlackBerry has stopped designing its own hardware. The company’s latest phones are basically TCL handsets with BlackBerry’s take on Android pre-loaded.