While BlackBerry's new CEO seems to be quite coy when answering questions about the company adopting Android en masse, these leaked photos prove that the company is already walking down that path. If this is the real deal, we might be seeing Google Play, and therefore Android apps, running on BlackBerry devices soon.
The embattled Canadian company recently put it foot down and stood its ground when it shrugged off attempts to buy it and replaced its CEO. Despite that, it is still unclear what new direction the company will take in order to maintain its relevance in the mobile market. When asked whether the company will be making a switch to Android, new CEO John Chen gave a rather indirect answer that practically just says that it's too soon to make any public statement about it for which he will be pulled out and shot.
It seems, however, that behind closed curtains, BlackBerry is preparing its devices to be able to natively run Android apps downloaded directly from Google Play Store, in contrast to previously existing laborious process of sideloading Android apps. This compatibility is rumored to arrive on the upcoming BlackBerry OS version 10.2.1 which will be rolled out to a couple of smartphones as well as the PlayBook tablet. These batch of photos depict Android's market app running on the BlackBerry Z10.
Of course, always take rumors with a grain of salt, as many have already called out these images as faked. Admittedly, in a way it feels almost weird to see BlackBerry having held out this long only to finally succumb to becoming another Samsung or HTC. But then again, maybe no one will even notice or care when it happens.