BlackBerry confirms Priv Android phone with slider keyboard

After months of leaks and speculation about an Android-powered BlackBerry phone, the company has officially let the cat out of the bag. As part of its financial report (PDF), the Canadian smartphone maker announced it will release an Android phone named the BlackBerry Priv. The company hasn't published any photos of the device yet, but leaker Evan Blass seems to have us covered.

BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO John Chen says the Priv will stand out by including the company's security and business management technologies. "Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform," Chen said.

The Priv is expected to be available later this year, but BlackBerry isn't putting all its eggs into the Android basket just yet. BlackBerry 10 devices will coexist with the Android handset, and the next update for that operating system is expected in March 2016. Given that BlackBerry 10 has its own Android compatibility layer, though, we have to wonder just how much longer the proprietary OS will stick around. 

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