“BlackBerry Ltd, which has been coy about its ambitions to make a mainstream Android smartphone, fueled more speculation about its plans this week when it scooped up two Android-related domain names.”
That’s the scoop from a recent story by Reuters.
Basically, a few blog posts in the last few days discovered that the Canadian handset maker bought the domain names “AndroidSecured.com” and “AndroidSecured.net.”
That’s all it took to boost rumors that Blackberry intends to build a device powered by Google Inc’s Android platform, the juice behind the vast majority of smartphones sold worldwide.
“The purchase of the domain names is particularly interesting since BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen has declined to confirm a June Reuters report that said the company was planning an Android phone,” reported Reuters. “Speculation that BlackBerry will embrace Android was also spurred this week by a Digitimes report that said the company plans to roll out several models of Android-based phones.”
Chen, however, has been quoted more than once as saying he would go Android only if he can “secure Android.” And it tamped down speculation related to the domain names, saying “BlackBerry frequently registers domain names to support the breadth of our cross-platform portfolio. Android is an important part of our cross-platform enterprise software strategy.”
And yes, “AndroidSecured.com”, currently redirects users to a BlackBerry enterprise-focused site.
“But that has not stopped a barrage of chatter on tech blogs about the purchases being part of BlackBerry’s plan to build its own secure Android, going beyond supporting existing Android phones on its BES12 device-management system,” says Reuters. “BES12 allows corporate and government clients to secure Android-, iOS-, Windows- and BlackBerry-powered devices on their networks.”
Fact is: analysts and tech gurus believe a move to Android could give BlackBerry’s device arm a new lease on life.
What will happen? We’re not sure. But we’re watching this like a hawk.