BlackBerry will only release Android smartphones this year

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For the handful people that are actually anticipating another BlackBerry 10-powered smartphone, don’t hold your breath, because BlackBerry won’t be releasing one this year. That isn’t to say that BlackBerry isn’t releasing any smartphones this year, because it has a couple of them in the works, but they’re both going to be powered by Android. This is about as close to a confirmation that BlackBerry 10 is dead as we can get without BlackBerry saying it directly, because when the creator and sole user of a mobile operating system decides to stop using it, there’s little to no chance of it surviving. It’s possible that this isn’t a permanent move, but it’s definitely not likely. 

BlackBerry has no immediate plans to release a new BlackBerry 10-powered smartphone this year. The company does plan to release at least one, possibly two, new smartphones in 2016, both of which would run Android, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in an interview with CNET. Though BlackBerry’s plans for BlackBerry 10, the operating system that powered previous BlackBerry handsets, is unclear, Chen’s comments suggest that the company sees Android as its strongest bet for a long-awaited turnaround. Chen told CNET he is “confident in profitability this year.” The struggling company released its first Android device, the BlackBerry Priv, last year. The handset, which Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff called “the best BlackBerry in a decade,” has been on sale about two months and will soon be available on more carriers and in more countries, which should help bolster sales. “I’m taking a cautiously optimistic view,” Chen said, regarding sales of the Priv. Notably, the CEO said the company isn’t giving up on BlackBerry 10 just yet. The company will continue to support the operating system — BlackBerry devices are still widely used by the U.S. government — and will sell the BlackBerry Classic and other older devices. While Chen said there are no current plans to make a new BlackBerry 10 device, he hinted that could change at some point in the future if the Priv and other devices are successful.

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