Poll: Should RIM partner with Google to make Android BlackBerry devices?


RIM’s downfall has been significant since the new-generation smartphone boom. With competitors like Apple and Google (along with all its partners), the arguably outdated BlackBerry OS and devices have seen a major loss of marketshare. This comes after the company’s many years substantial success. Of course, BlackBerry 10’s delay until 2013 is not helping the situation, forcing Research in Motion to consider drastic options.

According to Reuter’s sources, one of the manufacturer’s options under discussion would be to simply leave BlackBerry OS. The company would then focus on making Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices featuring BlackBerry’s solid build quality and highly acclaimed physical keyboards.

The idea surely seems attractive to Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer, as he has recently reached out to RIM in an effort to strike a partnership. But of course RIM is a bit wary of such decisions, as it would mean the loss of the Canadian company’s independence.

Microsoft is not the only one interested in partnering with the BlackBerry manufacturer, though. In a recent interview with ABC News, Google Design Chief Matias Duarte clearly expressed his interest in BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard coming to the Android platform.

“I am still a huge fan of hardware keyboards. Many of the products I have worked on in the past have had them. I think there is a place for them — it’s all about choice and different types of devices. I would love, personally, to have a portrait oriented device, like we made at Palm.

If RIM wanted to work on Android devices, I would really welcome that. They clearly make great physical keyboards.”

Undoubtedly, a shift to Google’s Android OS would boost BlackBerry’s success. RIM fans have been moving out of the BlackBerry platform for years. Only to move on to greener pastures with iOS or Android devices, as well as other mobile operating systems like WebOS and Windows Phone.

Android continues to be the most popular mobile OS in the world, with over 1 million Android activations per day. Joining the green robot’s club would ensure its success, especially with former BlackBerry fans who would still love to see RIM prosper. Many of them still love the devices and physical keyboards, but BB OS is simply not up to par with the competition.

As a former BlackBerry user, I would honestly love to see a well-built BlackBerry smartphone with Android at its core. It would be a bit of an issue to try to work out screen proportions, as the Android OS was not designed for devices of the likes of most BB phones. But with the right mindset and a good amount of work, RIM could bring something great to the table.

Of course, this is nothing but speculations. RIM might simply choose to follow its own strategy and probably die with it. One thing is for sure, though: Windows Phone is also a very young and unpopular platform, making Android a much better option. As for Apple, we know they won’t be working with any partners anytime soon, so it is left out of the equation.

With that, we would like to see what all of you think of this idea. Would you welcome RIM to the growing list of Android manufacturers? Would you go back to owning a BlackBerry if a deal like this ever took place? Participate in the poll and let us know what you think in the comments section!

[polldaddy poll=6356421]

[Source: Reuters Via: ABC News]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. Google should buy RIM and just dominate the enterprise market.

    1. Agree

    2. Only if they get it on the cheap.

    3. The problem with RIM is that as of now, there’ s barely anything they have worth buying for. Especially when RIM’s worth is steadily declining, why shove out big bucks for them now?

      1. Patents. BBM. But that’s about it.

        That being said, those two things are still pretty big, especially the patents.

      2. ahhh RIM has billions worth of patents not to mention BBM alone is worth billions…

        1. That’s precisely the reason why no one would make moves top purchase them now when they could just wait it out and get RIM on the cheap. If RIM’s patents were THAT great in a defense against Apple I bet Samsung would have bought them up by now. In fact Samsung went on record saying they are not interested in acquiring RIM what so ever while other rumors point to Samsung being interested in a Nokia takeover if they could. The point is, outside of the patents taking over RIM is a huge headache.

        2. BBM is not worth that much at all. They could easily make their own text over IP app. All the carriers are going to unlimited text and calling with tiered data in the near future anyway.

      3. It was a successful idea for Google to buy Motorola. I guess it could work for RIM.

    4. I agree, and by purchasing RIM comes their IP portfolio and use it to stop Apple!

    5. I think they should buy Nokia… Muahahahahaha!

    6. +1 That’s a brilliant idea.

  2. Agreed. It seems like a win-win situation to me, but I’m no financial / business mogul. :)

  3. Win-Win

  4. No!

    Decision made

  5. I think they should. It would give Google and Android a certain edge. Who knows, maybe Android + Blackberry could make smartphone OS more reliable and interesting.

  6. I like Android. I like Blackberry keyboards. Win win for me :D

  7. I am blackberry torch and playbook owner but the delays make me wonder if they should just partner with Google but overlay os with all the stuff that. Makes blackberry a blackberry

  8. I wouldn’t buy a BB. I prefer full touch screen but I’m sure many people would buy it. however buying BB would be a complete waste for Google. They’d prolly do it simply because they can

  9. I say no. They should make Blackberry a revolutionary device in it’s own right. make BB10 a formidable foe of android and ios. Also add a third form factor in phones, make it more app friendly, and open it up a little to allow some other options, like allow downloads of mp3’s and movies from amazon, and finally rework the way blackberry OS Looks and feels.

    1. They should make a revolutionry device, but I suspect what we’ll get is more of an evolutionary device, and that just won’t cut the mustard. IOW if they just produce a really, really good version of what they (and everyone else) is doing now, all they’ll see is a dead man’s bounce in the sales numbers, and that’s about it.

      Even if they do produce the revolutionary device they need, it will take time to reverse the trend of declining market share and time to lure developers and partners to the BB platform. All the while, with Android, iOS and WP continuing to evolve. In a way, RIM’s situation is like WWII Germany. They had a lot of big projects in the works, some of which could have changed the outcome of the war, but in the end time was not on their side. They were defeated, and all their cool stuff was dispersed to other parties.

  10. Hmm well It’s kinda like mixing drinks. If you mix it the right way it’ll be great, if not then a lose lose.

  11. It would be nice to have a portrait slider phone kind of like the palm pre, but thinner and have a bigger screen. Maybe a 4 inch androberry with a portrait slide out keyboard with the phone being about 10.2mm thick with a removable battery.

  12. Honestly it’s their only hope at survival. A move Nokia should have taken.

  13. I never lyked Blackberries. There phones’ keyboards were WAY too small for me. I don’t know how ppL typed with those. LoL!!

  14. There is a major hurdle to overcome before RIM and Android team up: Security. This is one of the biggest reasons that enterprises stick with Blackberries. They are easy to control and lock down. But an important feature of android is that it is open. You and unlock it, root it, and bypass any corporate security policy. I feel this would be a rocky marriage.

    1. Locking down the root capabilities would be the first part of the security. Another thing to consider is people who buy BB phones are enterprise people, doubtful most (any?) are like us tech-heads who gotta have root on everything.

      Personally, I don’t think Google really needs RIM, but RIM does have a few things that could benefit Android, like the security. Everyone strives for it, BB nailed it. If RIM goes under, their IP will definitely garner attention.

  15. They would be better off trying to resurrect webOS and just integrate their own proprietary software and services to make it unique.

  16. I personally think RIM should make Android ans Windows phones and see which one’s they sell more and drop the other after couple years. Just look at the sales figures. Android will win.

  17. Well one good (and bad) thing about android is that google let’s manufactures skin the interface and add different little features. I think it could work by BlackBerry making a overlay and adding in the enterprise parts.

  18. Just let them die, they let others pass them by and don’t deserve to go on. Time marches on.

  19. If you want something to buy like BB you need Motorola Droid Pro isn’t the best but is the most closely to blackberry.

  20. I agree with Aaron’s earlier comment about RIM making BB enterprise interface to run on top of Android like HTC Sence. They need to adapt for the future & this is a viable option.

  21. If Google were to purchase RIM would blackberry messenger come with that deal. If so I think it’s a great option for Google to purchase them and merge the already established and popular blackberry messenger with Google Talk. In addition it allows Google to slowly expand (somewhere down the line of course) with both Motorola and RIM into manufacturing and allows them to make one set of products for enterprises and another set of products for the everyday user.

  22. I would be one of the first people in line for a BB running android.

    1. Rim needs to go bye bye, we don’t need them and we don’t need Apple either.

  23. am I the only one annoyed by all of the poor grammar/spelling in the comments? O.o

    1. You didn’t use proper capitalization at the beginning of that sentence. Just FYI.

      1. Pwned!!

  24. Just let them die and buy any patents if any for dirt cheap. We already have plenty of phones with BB style keyboard and they don’t need to purchase the entire company just to make phones with better keyboards if the Android BB fans are arguing.

  25. RIM is dying. Just make one BB style phone for those who like the keyboard and it would still have the power of Android.

  26. It still amazes me that they haven’t adopted android as their underlying platform. They could still be 100% blackberry on top, just underneath is android. They loose NOTHING going to android and have everything to gain.

  27. What do they provide? Except like quoted in article a keyboard and portrait design? Sounds like a bit of sarcasm. the only thing here for Google to consider is how the brand of blackberry and android together may be quite powerful against iOS. Blackberry had some very loyal users and still do.

  28. I think Windows phones 8 + Blackberry Services a formula of success as it cover both worlds of Consumer & Enterprise

  29. Blackberry for Google, it would be a gateway to Business & Proconsumer phones

  30. Berry with android jellybean yes time has come.

  31. i just played with a BB 9220 (cheapest BB phone?) awhile ago and the phone could have been better and more intuitive if Android was in it.

  32. Eh, no.

    I had a BB. I moved on long, long ago. I’ve got a Galaxy S3 with Swype and Swiftkey now, and I can’t think of a single thing RIM has currently that could possibly improve it. RIM is shriveled, out of date, obsolete tech. Let it die. Google shouldn’t waste any money on it; they waste enough money already.

    1. Hit the nail on the head

  33. I would buy a BB 9000 running JellyBean. I would. So, yes, Google buy RIM throw away BB OS and call them BlackBerry Jelly Beans. LOL

  34. Where is the “Yes – it’s probably in their best interest but I personally don’t care”-option?

  35. Well a buyout of RIM is not gonna happen cause of their Motorola purchase but maybe Google and RIM should get into an exclusive relationship just like Microsoft and Nokia did and RIM can make Android devices focussed at the business users or those who still like physical keyboards on their phones. Let’s not forget they can share patents that can easily squash Crapple.

  36. I would love to see BB androids. I wouldn’t buy one but I believe MANY would. Even better if google gets a hold of their patents

    1. Agreed, my mom loved her blackberry, and though she likes her Android, she really wants a blackberry again. With this, she could have the best of both worlds. Plus a Blackberry Nexus, I would buy that(if it had a slide out keyboard).

  37. Samsung should buy RIM for their patents. Then sue Apple back.

  38. I have been saying this for years now.. Join Rims email platform, bbm, and androids ecosystem. Of apps and they would BURY the competition. Especially iCrap.

  39. RIM should make a Nexus phone (BlackBerry Nexus)

  40. I have always thought of not if, but when Google will purchase RIM. I’m sure it will happen one day, as it did with Motorola. If Google bought RIM, as stated in this article, we could have future Blackberry phones running on Android software. I think Google should do this, and advertise these new Android Blackberries as “the phone for the businessman.” It would make a great phone for people always on the go for work, as Blackberries already do, but would be running on much better software, with much more to do.

    Partnering with Microsoft would be great, too. Only problem is people are not yet used to Windows Phones. The keyboard on a Blackberry would fit perfectly with Windows software the make the ultimate “portable Windows PC experience”, but again, as stated in this article, Windows on mobile phones is still early. So the safest bet for RIM would be Android, IMO.

  41. Absolutely. My first 2 smartphones were BB. Top quality devices. Unfortunately, the company has gone the way of Palm. Google would bring it back. Plus, the patent portfolio would be worth any price.

  42. I think blackberry should make android phone to incorporate all of their good ideas and ultimately make a better operating system

  43. I don’t think rim should make a traditional blackberry format phone with android at the core. Super small non touchscreen phones just don’t work anymore. I’d love to see RIM work on a high end slider qwerty for android that can make it to other carriers and offer significant improvements over the slim pickings in that category. If they could one up motorola by making a high end device and making it thin and extremely durable they could have a shot at a niche market and with good build quality could move into touchscreen only phones as well which they seem to be partially planning with BBOS10 anyway.

  44. Um… Droid Pro…???

  45. A big fat NO, RIM should not partner with Google. Why soil the pot!?

  46. Do it google. BB was the shit back then!

  47. This discussion was had years ago. RIM wanted to stick with their junk then, and I’m not seeing anything that has really changed. They have been in the gutter since long before the first round of discussions, just as they are now.

    They did a lot of hype marketing around their products and managed to stay afloat, but that is it.. They have no real presence in the market anymore. They lost that shortly after the G1 was launched with actually competitive hardware, while their phones were running hardware that was years behind. Granted, their keyboards are good, and their phones are durable, but that is because they are largely flip-phone internals.. They are feature phones for suits, not smart phones.

    I don’t think they could keep up.

    The one thing they could add to android, is a secure (hardware encryption, yadda yadda) device with their own market with tight controls on security, and better VPN support. Businesses I’m sure would love to see that. I personally would love to see that, because the next round of models from other manufacturers would step in and one-up them. Then we as consumers could benefit indirectly from Blackberry I suppose.

    As for the whole keyboard thing, the Droid Pro did that. It did not work. That was what an Android powered Blackberry would have been, on the dot. It did not work. People did not want it.

    The era of the Blackberry is over.

  48. Some businesses talk about Android not being secure enough for Enterprise and acquiring RIM would surely solidify the enterprise security and save RIM and also surpass apple. Not to emntion fix the android battery issues as BB have the best battery life around and have had for years.

  49. Really? Why in the H E double hockey sticks would Google do that? 2013? Why waste a lifeline on a DYING no no on a DEAD product? RIM keep their patents, Google keep your money and continue to let developers develop! Keep your BBM! Ask Sprint about throwing out lifelines (Nextel) New rumor…..”RIM buys Nextel” Btw why takes Apples’ innovative route and sue?

  50. Again, RIM should drop the hardware portion, and concentrate on software. Build a core of apps for the iPhone (Yeah, I said it) and Androids including BES connectivity. BBM would be cool too, I guess, but the BES app and possibly a security suite would rock.

  51. Everybody knows that BB10 will run android apps right?

  52. I don’t think Google should buy RIM, but Rim should at least adopt Android and begin to compete. The top of the Android ladder right now is Samsung, followed by HTC and then Motorola. Add RIM to the list and then at least they would have a shot at being considered a “choice” instead of being “vintage.” They could then take some of the knowledge they get from selling Android phones and put it to use with their BB OS.

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