BlackBerry told developers that its commitment to the BlackBerry 10 platform “remains strong”, against a backdrop of questions about the future of the platform.
In a blog post, the enterprise mobility company said that “we’ll continue to invest in and evolve the platform”. But developers responded that the company actually provided little in the way of firm evidence of this beyond version 10.3.3, which is scheduled for availability early in 2016.
Indeed, the word “continue” was used frequently, with little evidence of progression. “Our current development environment is robust and, as such, there are no plans to schedule releases of new SDKs and APIs”, it said, noting that “new APIs will be released as required”.
“We currently support Qt 4.8 on BlackBerry 10. There are no plans to move to Qt 5.x,” it added.
And its distribution and support efforts also received the same treatment – continued, but not enhanced.
The future of BlackBerry 10 has been in the spotlight since the company announced Priv, its first smartphone powered by Android. And while it has a platform release scheduled, it is unclear if it has new handsets in the pipeline using its home-grown OS.
With BlackBerry’s handset volumes having shrunk in recent years (revenue was recognised on fewer than 1 million devices in the company’s most recently reported quarter), and it working to offer a device with BlackBerry security on Android, the need for it to continue with the expensive business of maintaining and developing its own platform is less clear.
Indeed, the company has frequently mooted leaving the handset business completely if it cannot achieve profitability.