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Are BlackBerry Android phones a fit for the enterprise?

With a new BlackBerry Android phone, the flailing company hopes to turn its sinking ship around.

With new security features, BlackBerry Android phones could prove to be a worthy contender for the enterprise market.

There's a reason BlackBerry has turned to Google's Android platform. With Android and Apple dominating the smartphone market, it makes sense that BlackBerry would want to attach itself to Android and bring back some relevancy to its brand.

In fact, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in January 2016 that this is going to be an Android-only year; BlackBerry has zero plans to release a single BlackBerry OS-powered device.

Blackberry Android phones

BlackBerry's heightened security is one of the reasons the OS has been so popular with business users.

A compelling feature of the BlackBerry Android phone for business users is that they gain some added security. BlackBerry introduced a feature called DTEK, which monitors the end-user's OS and apps. Should either be at risk, DTEK will inform the user.  Possible risks include:

  • Someone taking pictures or videos without the user's knowledge;
  • Someone turning on the device's microphone;
  • Someone sending a text message; and
  • Someone accessing the user's contacts, location or financial information.

BlackBerry's heightened security is one of the reasons the OS has been so popular with business users -- especially in certain fields, such as law and medicine, which require an added layer of security. DTEK might be the thing that keeps Blackberry relevant in the enterprise.

And if users combine DTEK with Android for Work, they'll have one seriously secure device.

Blackberry's enterprise future still looks grim

BlackBerry has ceased releasing sales numbers, perhaps because it's falling well below its required, magical mark. A BlackBerry Android phone could be a last-gasp effort to bolster business, but will likely fall well short of the necessary 5 million units that must be sold this year.

Next Steps

The struggle is real for BlackBerry's phone business

Can Android help BlackBerry stay afloat in the enterprise?

BlackBerry's new Android phone fights for enterprise attention

This was last published in May 2016

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Can a Blackberry Android phone help the company recapture the enterprise market? Why or why not?
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