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BlackBerry might finally give in to one of its biggest rivals

BlackBerry Ltd. Unveils The Square-Screened Passport SmartphoneBlackBerry Ltd. Unveils The Square-Screened Passport Smartphone
John Chen, chief executive officer of BlackBerry.Photograph by Hannah Yoon — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

BlackBerry Limited (BBRY), which in 2010 had close to 40% of the market for smartphones, today controls less than 1%. Now, according to a Reuters report, the firm is considering a new phone that will be equipped with Google’s Android software for the first time.

Reuters names two anonymous sources who say the decision could be part of BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen’s strategy to rely more on his firm’s new device management system, BES12.

BES12 is a system that “allows corporate and government clients to not only manage BlackBerry devices on their internal networks, but also devices powered by Android, Apple’s iOS platform and Microsoft Corp’s Windows operating system,” according to Reuters.

The sources say that the new Android device would likely come as a hybrid slide phone that includes a keyboard and touch screen — for customers who like Blackberry’s physical keyboard, but also want access to the large suite of applications offered by Android.