BlackBerry this week confirmed it will release an Android-powered sliding smartphone under the name of Priv. The long rumored and ballyhooed device was mentioned as part of the company’s most recent earnings report.

Due by the “end of the calendar year”, the handset is expected to offer top-notch security and privacy as well as all the of standard benefits of Android.

[blockquote author=””]In combination with BlackBerry’s efforts to support Android for Work on the BES12 platform, the new device will offer best in class security for enterprise customers. BlackBerry expects the device to be available late in the calendar year in major markets in-store and online, and will release further details in the coming weeks.[/blockquote]

This marks the first time BlackBerry has turned to another platform for its smartphones. It’s not clear whether it plans to use Android for future models, but we wouldn’t rule it out.

I’d like to see BlackBerry hardware (yes, even physical keyboards still have a place in this world) and its enterprise software and security combined with Android. Samsung and other handset makers have hedged bets with other software platforms to varying degrees of success; why can’t BlackBerry do the same?

BlackBerry (PDF)

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