BlackBerry, which has said little about its intent to make a mainstream Android-based smartphone, has added to the rampant speculation this week when the Canadian company bought two Android-related domain names.
BlackBerry registers Android web addresses
Various online news sites in past two days noticed that BlackBerry bought the domain names AndroidSecured.com and AndroidSecured.net this week. That led to more rumours that the company plans to release a new device powered by Google’s Android OS, which also powers the majority of smartphones sold around the world.
The purchase of the domain names is interesting since BlackBerry chief John Chen has decline to confirm reports that said the company was building an Android phone. Speculation that BlackBerry will embrace Android was also spurned on this week by a Digitimes report that claimed the company plans to roll out several models of Android-based phones.
In the past few weeks however, Chen said twice that he would only create an Android phone if he can secure Android. BlackBerry has
BlackBerry has though downplayed the significance of the web address purchases on Friday, saying that “BlackBerry frequently registers domain names to support the breadth of our cross-platform portfolio. Android is an important part of our cross-platform enterprise software strategy”.
One of the new domains, AndroidSecured.com, currently directs users to a BlackBerry enterprise site. However that has not stopped speculation on tech sites about the domains being part of BlackBerry’s overall plan to create its own secure version of Android, going beyond supporting existing Android phones on its BES12 device management system. BES12 enables corporate and government clients to secure Android, iOS, Windows and BlackBerry devices on their computer networks.
Under Chen, BlackBerry has moved somewhat towards software and device management as its most recent devices, powered by BlackBerry 10, have not won mass appeal. Technology analysts suggest a move to Android could help the company’s devices division expand its reach to more users.
The company already provides security software for some of Samsung’s Android devices. It has also helped US defence company Boeing build Boeing Black, an extremely secure Android phone for defence and security customers.
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.