Should BlackBerry Phones Run Android?

Network File Sharing on Android

Before Apple’s iPhone came out in 2007, the smartphone market was in fact dominated by BlackBerry. One of its chief features was the familiar tactile keyboard that sat underneath the screen until BlackBerry decided in 2013 to take its phones in a new direction more traversed by its contemporaries and created a phone dominated entirely by a touch screen. Sales didn’t improve. On June 11, 2015, we learned from Reuters that the failing company may be choosing to run Android in future models. This raises many questions about the company’s fate and whether this was the right decision to make. Is Android the ideal operating system for BlackBerry phones? 

BlackBerry’s Precarious Situation


In the earliest years of the 21st century, the BlackBerry was the phone to get. The BlackBerry basically set a precedent for what a smartphone was supposed to be like. It recorded video, browsed the Internet, and had an enlarged screen that was more than appropriate for the wide range of functions. Its victory over the smartphone market was short-lived, however, when Apple began to chip away at its market share. Since then, the story of Research In Motion (RIM), the company in charge of the BlackBerry phone line, has been marred by a sequence of disappointments. Its market share for the 2010s has been at around one percent, giving shareholders the impression that the company was grasping at straws to remain relevant in an economy where customers have different demands.

For a time, RIM has been largely successful with business-oriented users, popular among executives and professionals. This is due largely to the impressive security in its operating system, including its unique elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) algorithm. Since 2010, even among the business demographic, BlackBerry has been losing ground because of its lack of flexibility with applications. Enterprise apps on phones were largely abandoning BB in favor of iOS and Android. Today, you will be pressed to find a popular app that runs on it anymore.

Is Android A Solution?


Android has seen a great deal of success, overtaking Apple in sales in one of its few remaining bastions in February 2015. This was in no small part due to the availability of choice when buying Android phones. While Apple iOS runs exclusively on the iPhone manufactured by the same company, Android is capable of being licensed on a virtually unlimited number of devices. This brings us to BlackBerry, a company struggling to maintain relevance with an operating system that very few people are showing any interest in. According to the report by Reuters, while RIM (now known as BlackBerry Limited) desires to continue the development of the BlackBerry operating system, it appears to release phones that also run Android to help it pick up market share outside of its niche.

Should this come to fruition, I see no immediate change in BlackBerry’s fate unless they also spend considerable time forming a proper marketing strategy for these new devices. If BlackBerry can maintain the level of security it has while running Android, I think it could be a splendid opportunity to provide both professional and privacy-minded consumers with a new platform to work with.

What do you think? Would you buy a BlackBerry phone if it ran on Android?

Miguel Leiva-Gomez Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.


  1. I think they should take android and add their best security functions to it. That way, you get RIM’s legendary security with the power and flexibility of Android. Who knows? Maybe with this, RIM will actually start selling phones again.

    1. I agree totally. I would love to have my blackberry back. It’s security was top notch and it’s size much more functional. What I hate about Android (and I like mine) is that when on the go…when I get or make a call, so many useless screen pop up that it takes me minutes to close all the useless Google Maps and other unwanted Apps that pop up off. It’s a pain in the shorts, I want my simple but secure blackberry back.

  2. Blackberry has been and will always be a better smartphone the I phone. The best thing Blackberry should do is release 2phones with eactly the same features and functions with one having the android OS. and the other newest OS and see which performs better and sells better.

  3. Blackberry should keep its secure operating system and develop in-house the more popular applications that do not compromise that system. One of the worst features of android phones is all the dross applications pre-installed, some of which you can’t even remove.

  4. Funny the pictures are with the physical keyboard. We run all Z30 which has the full touch screen and virtual keyboard and works extremely well in our environment, even many of our Android users want to switch over to it. I am running many Android apps on it and they work as well or better than on an actual Android device. In many seminars I have people tell me that’s not a Blackberry as it has no keyboard. Many users dropped Blackberry years ago and never looked back assuming it had not changed at all.

  5. Yes, if they run a version that is zealously “security conscious” and not beholden to Google gregariousness. I’d switch.

  6. BB Z30 which has the full touch screen and virtual keyboard and works extremely well like most Samsung phone. If they should take android and add their best security functions to it and market it by convincing their Old and costumers the new change that will now run android platform that does not compromise security the will bounce back

  7. Blackberry OS 10 run’s already Android on top of QNX.
    Which operating system for smartphone’s can do that?
    I don’t know another smartphone maker who can do that, do you?

  8. I really wished they could keep fighting the battle to save the BlackBerry OS. Both my kids have Asus tablets, so I experience a little working in native android, and I use a Blackberry Passport. And can undeniably say BlackBerry is a far superior os than Android. And so far the only android app that hasn’t work is a banking one’s that Google services blocks from working. And I have some of the same games on my phone as the kids have on their tablets, and they actually run better on my blackberry!
    It’s unfortunately I reputation is BlackBerry’s weakness, not their tech.
    If they could find a way to educate the masses. I still have people tell me you can’t run Google Play on BlackBerry and I’ve had it on my phone for nearly a year now.

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