Oh, BlackBerry, time has not been kind to you. OK, make that time, Apple, Google and your many mistakes trying to compete in the smartphone market.
If you don't recall, BlackBerry used to be THE mobile gadget for business professionals. Then, most business people started bringing their personal Apple and Android consumer smartphones to work, and BlackBerry never got a compelling consumer smartphone out the door to compete. Hence its current 1% market share.
BlackBerry has had a number of "comeback" moments where it looked like it might have found an answer, but they generally flopped. It did get some positive press after the Sony hacks of 2014 when Sony executives, unable to use the compromised network, pulled BlackBerry gadgets out of storage for secure communication.
And if we're honest, secure communication has always been BlackBerry's strength. That's why the U.S. government, including President Obama, still uses BlackBerry phones.
In fact, BlackBerry is opening up a new system called BES12 that will provide security for Android, Apple and Windows Phone systems on business and government networks. However, that's not the big news I wanted to tell you.
Sources inside BlackBerry say that its next smartphone is going to move away from BlackBerry's in-house operating system and run Android instead. And that's not a bad move.
Adopting Android would give BlackBerry users access to a million Android apps. One of BlackBerry's biggest problems at the moment is a lack of apps for its own operating system. An explosion in new Blackberry apps isn't the only positive though.
Despite Google's recent efforts, Android still isn't that welcome in the enterprise world thanks to its many security concerns. If BlackBerry can bring its own secure angle to Android, then it could create the ultimate business Android phone.
On the hardware front, rumors say BlackBerry is going to put Android on a slider phone. It will have a touch screen and a slide-out physical keyboard. The physical keyboard is another area where BlackBerry excels, and I do know many former BlackBerry users who miss it on their Apple and Android gadgets. The "feel" of actual buttons seems more intuitive to some users rather than a touch screen with little or no touch feedback.
An Android phone with BlackBerry security and a physical keyboard? It could be a game changer for BlackBerry.
Do you think BlackBerry would succeed if it made this move? Would you get a BlackBerry Android phone? Let me know in the comments.