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A new Android powered BlackBerry tablet could be coming soon

Posted: , by Alan F.

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A new Android powered BlackBerry tablet could be coming soon
BlackBerry CEO John Chen spoke to analysts today via conference call following the release of the company's fiscal fourth quarter earnings report. BlackBerry reported profits on an adjusted basis of 4 cents a share, topping forecasts of a breakeven quarter. During his chat with the Wall Street prognosticators, Chen made everyone's ears perk up when he said that BlackBerry is moving into the second phase of its licensing program. He noted that one of BlackBerry's partners is very interested in building an Android powered slate, and as a result "you may soon see a BlackBerry tablet,"  Chen said.

The company interested in building the device is one of the three companies now licensed to build BlackBerry phones. The trio include China's TCL, India's Optiemus and Indonesia based PT BB Merah Putih. Chen did not reveal which of the three is interested in producing the slate. If the tablet is manufactured, BlackBerry will be in line to receive royalties based on sales. The tablet would run on software provided by BlackBerry.

The BlackBerry PlayBook is the only tablet to wear the BlackBerry name thus far. Released in 2011, the tablet used the QNX operating system which later morphed into BlackBerry 10. While the OS received positive reviews, BlackBerry shipped the slate without a calendar app, and email required the use of a BlackBerry handset and the BlackBerry Bridge. These are shocking omissions for a company well known for the email client on its handsets.

"One of our partners are (sic) very excited to build a tablet based on Android, and so they wanted us to give them the portfolio rights to do that. I'm interested to do that because I'm going to get royalties for every tablet they ship. I will just leave it at that, and it's not even that, we have to curate it, we have to do a lot of things on with it, so it's not a 100% committed thing but it's gonna come from our partners and BlackBerry will only receive royalty but it's using our software and we do the QA and portfolio management, so I hope that clarifies that point."-John Chen, CEO, BlackBerry

You can count former BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins as being among those surprised at the possibility of a new BlackBerry tablet. Back in April 2013, Heins said that tablets would be dead in five years.


source: CrackBerry

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posted on 31 Mar 2017, 21:40 6

1. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Interesting news, even though I'm personally not in the market for an Android powered tablet, even a BlackBerry Secured Android one. I prefer my tablets to run either iOS (better optimized apps and OS on a tablet form factor than Android), or Windows (great for power users and productivity). Still, I'd like to see what one of their licensees comes up with. I'd absolutely love a QNX powered BlackBerry branded tablet, with all of the bells and whistles.

posted on 31 Mar 2017, 22:21 1

2. Arthurhkt (Posts: 582; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)


Yup, hopefully we can see another QNX based device in the future, especially BB10.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 09:37

32. cmdacos (Posts: 651; Member since: 01 Nov 2016)


Zero chance of this ever happening

posted on 31 Mar 2017, 23:41

5. Spyro (Posts: 267; Member since: 29 Mar 2017)


I don't think Blackberry would risk such a move at the moment. It's still has a small market share as opposed to the big tech companies. John Chen is playing safe atm.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 00:00 4

6. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


John Chen has nothing to do with the tablet being built, as BlackBerry only handles the software and not the hardware. TCL or one of the other BlackBerry Licensees will handle the hardware.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 00:19

9. Spyro (Posts: 267; Member since: 29 Mar 2017)


I was talking about the implementing QNX. Better stick with Android first than an OS that won't help the company out of the red.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 00:29 4

10. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


BlackBerry isn't in the red anymore. The ER released yesterday confirmed that. They also don't make money off of hardware anymore, as they are no longer in the hardware business since September of last year, so they have nothing to lose. They wouldn't take a loss on any unsold hardware, their licensees would. They just get a royalty from every tablet shipped due to their branding and software being on it. I'd prefer QNX, because it's something different and can run Android on top of it, if need be. Android tablets aren't making too much money as it is now, and have too few apps optimized for the tablet form factor.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 01:09

14. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


Yup. Why stick with what didn't work before. And it probably won't be priced accordingly either.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 05:42 2

20. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


They've never made a full-on QNX tablet before, so how can you say it won't work?

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 08:06

27. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1639; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Well it's kind of a moot point anyways considering the direct quote from John Chen was:

"One of our partners are (sic) very excited to build a tablet based on Android, and so they wanted us to give them the portfolio rights to do that"

While QNX does run Android apps, I don't think that's what they were referring to when he said that.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 08:58 1

29. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


I am well aware of all of that. I was posting what I'd like to see.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 15:22

35. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


You'll be argumentative with anyone if they disagree slightly.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 17:07 1

42. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Pot, meet kettle.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 15:23

36. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


I never said anything about them making a QNX tablet.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 17:08 1

43. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


You implied it.

posted on 02 Apr 2017, 00:16

51. poojarathod (Posts: 39; Member since: 06 Mar 2017)


yes that's true i heard that BlackBerry only handles the software and not the hardware.

posted on 31 Mar 2017, 23:36 2

3. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 2108; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


I never understood the backlash for not having PIM apps on the Playbook. It was meant to be a secure device as is BlackBerry's forte. How many business types have left their tablets at a bar after too many Martinis? No problem if the accompanying phone is not around.

I agree with meanest, I'd much rather see an up-to-date QNX-flavored BB tablet than just another Android.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 00:12 4

8. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


And the Playbook was actually praised for its OS. People just made a big deal about the missing PIM functions because it was what their smartphones were known for. But I agree with you, it was a great security feature that was misunderstood. Having to use your BlackBerry smartphone to connect to the Playbook via BlackBerry Bridge was awesome, especially how you were able to allow the Playbook to use your phone's data connection to browse the web, without there having to be some sort of mobile tethering plan.

How awesome would it be for there to be an up to date, QNX tablet with all the bells and whistles? That's something that I'd happily pay a premium for.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 19:55

50. joey_sfb (Posts: 6600; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


I met my Insurance agent a week ago and he is rocking a tab s2. The last time I met him a year ago he is using a Surface pro.

I was curious so I ask what happen to using a Surface pro3/4. Not sure about that as I am more interested in the policy he was selling me.

Anyway, his feedback that his company made them buy it. He was very upset at first because his just bought his Surface pro less than a year ago, I know that too because I have seen him with a Lenovo tablet before.

After just a few weeks with the S2 he prefers it as his company app made it easier to craft policy with less mistakes on his part. He just wish they introduced the Tab S2 sooner so that he don't have to waste 2k on a Surface pro since he still owned a 4 year old Lenovo Tablet.

I ask why not just continue to use Lenovo tablet which run the same Windows application. He replied his peers encourage him to get Surface pro for professional image. I told him that Surface pro does look better than his old Lenovo Tablet. However I would still have stick with it.

Tab S2 I would buy because it's cheaper and lighter he bought it for $400 with LTE. Plus the custom app reduced typing to minimize mistakes.

posted on 31 Mar 2017, 23:39

4. Spyro (Posts: 267; Member since: 29 Mar 2017)


It better have a keyboard if they care about maximizing productivity.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 00:00 2

7. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


A BlackBerry branded tablet with a fixed or slide out physical keyboard would be awesome!

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 06:33

23. Tabby_Tiger (Posts: 279; Member since: 23 Jan 2017)


Sliding keyboard for a tablet would be a nightmare.

Something like the ASUS Transformer range with attachable keyboard turning it into a proper laptop setup would be more suitable.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 07:04 1

24. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Done right, it would be awesome. I remember when people said a phone with a slide out keyboard would be a nightmare. That was proven wrong, too.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 07:17

26. Spyro (Posts: 267; Member since: 29 Mar 2017)


I don't think slide out keyboards are a nightmare lol. I used to own 3 Sony Ericsson phones. One with a normal keypad, one flip-phone, and one slider. They all worked really great. I missed those days...

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 19:35

47. Tabby_Tiger (Posts: 279; Member since: 23 Jan 2017)


I had a Moto Milestone 2 with sliding keyboard and loved it. I meant for a tablet the same concept would be impractical since the angle of the screen would be upright for viewing while typing.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 19:52 1

49. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


The screen can be made to tilt, just like the Nokia E7.

posted on 02 Apr 2017, 01:25

52. Tabby_Tiger (Posts: 279; Member since: 23 Jan 2017)


E7 was a beauty!!! After that I found Nokia phones unappealing.

My only concern is durability and whether you really could put it on your lap and use it in a moving vehicle.

posted on 02 Apr 2017, 05:43

53. meanestgenius (Posts: 16598; Member since: 28 May 2014)


I was totally in love with the E7. A true work of art.

That's understandable. I believe that with today's advances in tech that it could be done.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 07:13

25. Spyro (Posts: 267; Member since: 29 Mar 2017)


My cousin has a Vaio laptop similar to a tablet with a sliding keyboard and it works like a charm. It's not a tablet, the screen is like 14" but it shows that a tablet with a sliding keyboard can be a cool concept.

posted on 01 Apr 2017, 19:40

48. Tabby_Tiger (Posts: 279; Member since: 23 Jan 2017)


I just Googled what you are talking about and I'm not sure I would call it a sliding mechanism but close enough.

How solid it is in laptop mode? I mean with the ASUS transformer you can really put in on your lap and the screen would stay at the angle that you set it at even if you shake it.

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