Optimistic investors have sent BlackBerry shares on a roller coaster ride over the past few years, but reality seems to be setting in. After briefly rocketing up to the $12 range in mid-January, the company’s stock has seen a gradual decline back to under $8, down about 27.5% so far in 2015. Brief runs of optimism are quickly offset by the recurring realization that BlackBerry doesn’t seem any closer to finding its place in the new mobile landscape today than it was a few years ago.
Will an Android phone save the company? No, almost certainly not.
In July 2007, BlackBerry shares were trading at more than $230. On Thursday, BlackBerry’s stock closed at $7.96. As we’ve discussed countless times here on BGR, the iPhone completely blindsided BlackBerry in 2007, and management had no idea how to respond.
We chronicled BlackBerry’s decent and gave the world an inside look at its downfall. Today, the company continues to struggle to pick up the pieces. And now, it looks like its newest effort is finally taking shape: BlackBerry is going to launch an Android phone.
Android, as a reminder, is Google’s wildly popular mobile platform, which only a couple of global vendors have managed to make money with. One is Samsung. The other is Microsoft, which threatened massive patent lawsuits to force nearly every major Android partner into licensing deals.
Multiple reports point to an Android-powered BlackBerry slider headed to AT&T, where it will probably join the like of HTC’s First and Amazon’s Fire phone.
Gadget leaker @evleaks is among the people reporting the news, stating only that an Android-powered slider codenamed “Venice” will launch at some point in the future on AT&T. An earlier report from N4BB stated that the phone’s specs include a 5.4-inch quad HD display, an 18-megapixel camera, a hexa-core 1.8GHz Snapdragon 808 processor and 3GB of RAM.
The phone is expected to debut in time for the holidays this coming November, right around the time Apple and Samsung kick their multi-billion dollar marketing campaigns into overdrive. Good luck.
UPDATE: A leaked image that supposedly shows the phone has been posted by @evleaks: