Embattled smartphone maker BlackBerry is looking to release a phablet device by the end of the year and spin off its messenger service as part of its sale process, while Samsung has ruled out a takeover.
The International Business Times has posted a leaked photo of BlackBerry’s forthcoming Aristo Z30 phablet sitting alongside a Nokia.
The device is set to feature a 5-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera and Blackberry 10.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is reporting BlackBerry is considering splitting off its BlackBerry Messenger service into a separate company, which is to be named BBM Inc.
The move would see BBM released for Android and Apple iOS and positioned as a rival to both direct rivals, such as WhatsApp, as well as social media giants like Twitter, according to sources within the company.
“We have announced our plans to offer this trusted mobile messaging service to iPhone and Android users sometime this summer, a BlackBerry spokesperson said.
As SmartCompany reported earlier this month, Samsung has officially announced it is adding BBM to the Samsung Messaging Hub across Africa.
“The upcoming BBM app will be available in the Google Play and the Samsung App store soon and available to all Samsung Galaxy smartphone consumers across Africa,” Samsung stated at the time.
“BBM will form part of Samsung Messaging Hub as a complementary addition to the current slate of propriety and third party messaging services that Samsung customers enjoy – all aimed at empowering consumers to connect with each other in better ways using text messaging.”
Samsung’s subsidiary in Ghana began advertising BBM via its official Facebook page.
“Another messenger is coming on Samsung phones sooner than you think… what is it?” the Facebook post reads.
However, in an interview with the Korean Times, Samsung mobile executive vice president Lee Young-hee has ruled out the possibility of the Korean electronics giant taking over the company, emphasising the forthcoming release of its Knox security suite.
“Samsung Electronics is not considering that [BlackBerry] opportunity,” Lee says.
“The mobile security industry is a growing market opportunity. To address the potential, Samsung Electronics has been focusing on enhancing mobile security. We are ready to adapt Knox to the market needs.”