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article imageBlackBerry CEO: 'We need more apps'

By James Walker     Aug 29, 2015 in Technology
BlackBerry CEO John Chen admitted yesterday that the company needs more apps if its handsets are to be successful. An Android phone is believed to be in the works to solve this problem, although Chen did not confirm this.
Re/code reports that Chen acknowledged the lack of apps for the BlackBerry 10 platform during a talk at the Churchill Club in Palo Alto, California, yesterday. He said: "It's not competitive to Google Play or the iTunes store. We're working hard at that."
That "work" may reference BlackBerry's upcoming Android device, currently known as "Venice", that has now been seen several times in leaked photos. The phone will have access to the Google Play Store, allowing customers to buy BlackBerry hardware and still use the apps they know and need.
The company is believed to be working on bringing across several of its own core services though. It is understandably reluctant to give up on all its own work and just drop Android onto a phone so BlackBerry fans can expect many of the company's trademark software apps to be usable in some form on an Android device.
BlackBerry 10 phones can already run some apps designed for Android by downloading them from the Amazon App Store. The selection is relatively small though and the unavoidable fact remains that Android apps work best on Android devices.
Chen apparently restated that BlackBerry is committed to producing new phones but acknowledged that the company could eventually be forced out of the market. Re/code writes that he said: "If I can't make money on the phone, I will be out of that telephone handset business. There is a timeline; I won't tell you when."
"The phone" could refer to the Android-powered Venice that many analysts believe BlackBerry's future relies on. The phone's design is eye-catching and blends the best of classic BlackBerry with modern smartphones but it remains to be seen if the company will be able to convince its old customers to return.
Venice will feature a sliding physical keyboard beneath a large 5.4-inch touchscreen. The display has a noticeable curve to the edges in a style that is reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. It will be powered by a six-core Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB of RAM. The phone is expected to make an appearance later this year, possibly during November.
More about Blackberry, John Chen, CEO, Apps, Smartphone
 
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