Let’s be honest here, BlackBerry 10 isn’t exactly a vibrant, thriving operating system. BlackBerry has less than one percent smartphone market share and simply can’t compete these days with the flashy iOS flagship smartphones coming out of the woodwork from Apple and Android flagships from the likes of Samsung, HTC, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Motorola (just to name a few).
So it should come as no surprise that BlackBerry is looking for a backup plan of sorts to advances its efforts in the smartphone race, and what better partner could the Canadian company find than with Google? As we reported in June, BlackBerry is set to release a smartphone equipped with a sliding [hardware] QWERTY that runs Google’s Android operating system. Those rumors received a pretty potent jolt to the arm this afternoon with the release of a supposed render of the upcoming flagship, codenamed Venice.
There is just one image floating around courtesy of notorious gadget leaker Evan Blass, but we can clearly see a curved screen display (a la the Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge) and a full suite of Google apps. We also see what appears to be a bottom-mounted speaker, above which most likely lurks the QWERTY keyboard that would set BlackBerry’s offering apart from the vast array of Android smartphones that seem to run together with regards to design and specs.
According to Blass, the Venice will be an AT&T exclusive, which is a real big bummer for what looks to be a very promising piece of hardware. BlackBerry needs all the help it can get, and limiting its exposure to just once carrier seems short cited.