BlackBerry is reportedly planning to develop its first smartphone using the Android OS in response to slow sales of its BlackBerry 10 line of devices.
Four sources told Reuters that the company plans to use Android as part of its plan to focus on software and device management rather than smartphone sales.
The Android smartphone is expected to incorporate a large touchscreen as well as a physical keyboard, to attempt to appeal to both the touch-screen dominated Android market and the traditional market for BlackBerry handsets.
BlackBerry's BES12 device management system is a multi-platform product to allow corporate and government clients to manage devices on the internal networks.
But BlackBerry has reportedly had trouble convincing large customers that the software is truly multi-platform. Two sources cited by Reuters assert that the plan to launch an Android device of its own is meant to demonstrate this fact.
BlackBerry once dominated the smartphone market, but its market share has now fallen to less than 1%, forcing the company into a radical rethink.
In a statement, BlackBerry declined to comment on the rumors, but insisted that it remains committed to the BlackBerry 10 OS.