A series of Twitter posts just reignited rumors of an upcoming Blackberry (BB-CA) that would run a version of Google’s (GOOGL) Android operating system.
Writer Evan Blass took to Twitter with three leaked images early Wednesday, saying a new model of Blackberry phone, dubbed Venice, would be released by national carriers in November. Renderings showed a black device with a curved screen wrapping around the edges of the phone and the option to slide out Blackberry’s hallmark physical keyboard.
Perhaps more importantly, the device appeared to have an Android-like interface. If Venice runs on Android, it would be the first Blackberry to do so, although Blackberry 10 users can download Android apps from the Amazon (AMZN) App Store.
“We don’t comment on rumors or speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched,” a Blackberry spokeswoman said. CNBC was unable to independently verify the veracity of the photos.
Blass is the latest to pile on to the summer’s speculation that Blackberry is reinventing itself with Venice.
A contributor to website Mashable, Blass is best known as his Twitter personality @evleaks, where he gained a following for revealing the latest smartphone models before they were publicly released. Blass’ tweets corroborate ongoing Blackberry buzz in publications like Reuters, after the Canadian wireless company gave a sneak peek of Venice in a March trade show.
The growing evidence of a potential departure from Blackberry 10 would come as the business’ market share is on the decline.
The once-mighty device maker held just 1.5 percent of the U.S. mobile phone platform market in April of this year, according to research firm comScore, compared to Android’s 53.2 percent and Apple’s 41.3 percent. North America accounts for the largest share—43.3 percent—of Blackberry’s sales.
About 40 percent Blackberry’s revenue comes from hardware, with 38 percent from services and 21 percent from software and technology licensing, according to their latest quarterly earnings report, released in June.
Written by Anita Balakrishnan of CNBC