BlackBerry’s first Android to target emerging markets this August

Rumors of an Android-powered BlackBerry just won't die. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Rumors of an Android-powered BlackBerry just won’t die. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

BlackBerry’s first Android-powered smartphone will be an affordable device aimed at emerging markets, according to a new report. Codenamed “Prague,” the handset is expected to take cues from last year’s budget BlackBerry Z3, and it could go on sale as soon as August.

We’ve been hearing rumors about BlackBerry adopting Android since the company started struggling — and that was a long time ago. But a recent Reuters report claimed the Canadian company was finally close to making the switch in an attempt to save itself from extinction.

Now BlackBerry fan-site N4BB, citing sources familiar with BlackBerry’s plans, claims the company could launch a budget Android device within the next couple of months.

“We’ve been told BlackBerry is in fact working on an Android device, but with the emerging markets in mind,” the report reads. “The company’s first Android-powered device is said to be low-end. We’ve also learned of a new device called the BlackBerry “Prague.””

N4BB attributes this decision to the fact that the high-end smartphone market is saturated, while more affordable devices continue to thrive in emerging markets, with 32.4% growth in 2014.

At this point, BlackBerry’s future seems very unclear. The company is expected to place much of its focus on services going forward, but it seems it has no plans to give up on hardware completely. It also seems unlikely that it would give up on the BlackBerry 10 platform just yet.

If it does start launching Android devices, however, and they sell relatively well, it may eventually decide that BB10 just isn’t worth wasting resources on.