BlackBerry's share of the global smartphone market has collapsed in recent years, falling to levels that even Windows Phone fans can comfortably mock. But it seems that the company plans to try to reverse its fortunes in the mobile market by turning its back on the BlackBerry 10 OS for its next flagship device.
Recent reports have indicated that BlackBerry plans to launch its new handset with Android onboard instead. Known by its development codename 'Venice', the device is expected to resurrect a form factor that's gone out of fashion in recent years: a large rectangular display that slides up to reveal a hardware keyboard.
Semi-retired leaker Evan Blass (better known by his @evleaks Twitter handle) today posted an image which is believed to show BlackBerry's new Android slider, and it certainly appears to match the first (slightly blurry) image of the device that was revealed a few weeks ago.
Notably, the new image appears to confirm that the handset draws some inspiration from Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge, with a display that curves around both the left and right edges of the handset.
Recent leaks indicate that the 5.4-inch display will feature Quad HD (2560x1440px) resolution, while other key specs are said to include a hexa-core 1.8GHz Snapdragon 808 chipset, 3GB of RAM and an 18-megapixel rear camera.
Blass has an excellent record when it comes to revealing info about devices ahead of their release, so while it's not been officially confirmed, it seems likely that the image he posted is accurate. In a separate tweet, he also revealed that the device is heading to AT&T in the US.
Assuming the image above is, as suspected, a leaked copy of an official BlackBerry render, then it seems the device will include the full suite of Google services onboard, rather than running an Amazon-style fork of the OS. In fact, judging by what the screen in the image shows, the handset may run stock Android Lollipop when it launches, or perhaps even the new Android M release.