Evan Blass/Twitter/screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET
US consumers curious about BlackBerry’s upcoming Venice Android slider phone may get a chance to check it out in before year’s end.
“BlackBerry Venice confirmed for November release on all four national US carriers,” tweeted known and usually reliable leaker Evan Blass, also known as @evleaks, early Wednesday morning. Blass’s tweet also displayed some renderings allegedly of the Venice phone. One image shows a screen with the Google Play logo. Another displays the BlackBerry Hub portal where you can view all your e-mails, text messages and social network updates. And a third pointed to a feature called Content Transfer for BlackBerry.
What’s unique about the BlackBerry Venice? Demoed at Mobile World Congress in March, the phone is expected to sport a dual-curved, all-touch display with a keyboard that appears when you slide down the bottom. But the most intriging aspect is that the Venice phone will reportedly run Google’s Android OS.
BlackBerry is a shell of its former self when it comes to mobile phones. The company’s smartphone market share is less than 1 percent as it struggles to keep its handset business alive. BlackBerry has been fighting back by releasing new phones over the past year, including the BlackBerry Classic and the BlackBerry Passport. But the BlackBerry Venice would be the first phone in which the company embraces another mobile operating system, a radical departure from its efforts to shore up its BlackBerry operating system and a sign of its weakened condition.
Few other details are known about the Venice phone. Rumors suggest that it will be powered by a Snapdragon 808 processor, sport a 5.4-inch 2,560×1,440 pixel QHD LCD screen and come with 3GB of RAM. With the right specs and Android as its OS, BlackBerry Venice could just be the ticket for people who like the classic BlackBerry hardware but want the full scope of Android features and apps.