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Blackberry in 2016: Two new Android devices, RIP BB10

Blackberry already has big plans for 2016, involving two new Android mobile phones. So does this mean the death of BB10?

The past three years or so have been pretty rocky (and by that we mean completely bloody awful) for Blackberry, starting with the poor critical reception of BB10 and the Z10 phone, and ending in 2015 with Blackberry’s CEO admitting that it could soon exit the phone game.

Thankfully Blackberry’s fortunes seem to have turned, with the recent release of its best phone in years – the Blackberry Priv. The Priv was BB’s first stab at an Android phone, which sported some seriously good hardware and actually managed to make Android better.

So Blackberry is wisely sticking with Android in 2016, or so it seems. CEO John Chen just revealed that its next two devices, one of which is a smartphone, will both run Android.

We know very little else right now, although we’re hoping that Blackberry will launch a mid-range variation of the Priv, offering the same unique user experience at a more healthy price. And we can only assume that the second device coming in 2016 is a Blackberry tablet, running Android Marshmallow and packing all of BB’s best features like the Blackberry Hub.

So, is BB10 dead and buried? Don’t get your black suit/dress ready just yet, because Chen hasn’t actually hinted that the Blackberry OS is done for. However, given the critical success of the Priv, which keeps the best bits of BB10 alive and well while opening up Blackberry’s hardware to a whole new audience, we’d be surprised to see another non-Android phone any time soon. The market performance of the Priv will of course tell us more, as precise figures are yet to be announced.

Read next: Blackberry Priv long-term keyboard review: physical vs virtual


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