(Pocket-lint) - UPDATE: BlackBerry has since issued a statement on its official blog saying: "...we want to also make very clear our ongoing commitment to the BlackBerry 10 platform...". It goes on to say: "consumer and enterprise fans of our workhorse BlackBerry 10 smartphones such as Passport, Classic and others can look forward to multiple security and privacy enhancements in 2016."
BlackBerry has announced that it will be abandoning its BB10 operating system in favour of Android, for 2016. It has since made it seem that BB10 will be abandoned completely in favour of Android.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed at a CES interview in Las Vegas that the company will release two new products in 2016, both of which will run Android OS. More recently, at the Priv launch in India, Damian Tay, senior director, APAC product management at BlackBerry, said:
"The PRIV device is essentially our transition to the Android ecosystem. As we secure Android, over a period of time, we would not have two platforms, and may have only Android as a platform [for smartphones]... But for now, we have BB10 and Android platforms for our smartphones."
So while BlackBerry will stay afloat it means the operating system that die-hard fans support appears to be getting left on the shelf. The physical keyboard of BlackBerry should largely remain, giving the company a unique selling point over the already establish Android competition of Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG and the rest.
On the matter of the BlackBerry Priv reception so far Chen says: "So far, so good. I'm taking a cautiously optimistic view".
Chen pointed out the Priv started small but will roll out to 31 countries and the price should drop with time. This makes sense as BlackBerry has already said 2016 is its make or break year.
While BlackBerry will continue to offer the BlackBerry Classic with the BB10 operating system, new phones won't receive it. This is not a total abandoning of the OS immediately it seems.