Leading up to the release of the BlackBerry PRIV, there were rumors swirling that BlackBerry might release a different Android phone alongside it. That phone would essentially be the BlackBerry Passport, the company’s latest (and last) BlackBerry 10 smartphone, with Android.
Evidence of a BlackBerry Passport with Android bubbled in 2015.
But it never came to pass. Why not? The answer may surprise you: it had the wrong shape. Google’s compatibility document for Android enforces a rule that devices can only have 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios, otherwise they won’t be able to access Google Play or Google Play Services. The Passport, in case you don’t know, is a 1:1 perfect square device.
According to MobileSyrup, BlackBerry had actually gotten Google to go along with their efforts to adapt Google Play Services and the Android framework for 1:1 screen resolutions, but the efforts supposedly became too much for what was likely the only device that might ever make use of it. The plans were then scrapped.
And then BlackBerry brought out the PRIV, which does have the desired 16:9 ratio most phones are sporting these days. It’s interesting to learn that planned Android devices may be held back due to simple things like the shape of a device instead of anything more complicated that you may guess (such as BlackBerry’s looming exit from the hardware business altogether). Have you ever wanted BlackBerry to release a Passport with Android?