Though Google made some pretty juicy announcements this week at Google I/O, competitor Research In Motion made some choice announcements of its own. The company revealed poor financial results, plans to lay off as many as 5,000 employees and revealed that BlackBerry OS 10 would be delayed until 2013. RIM is certainly in a tough place right now, and it's a place many believe the company won't be able to come back from. However, the BlackBerry maker does have options, and as rumors circulate about splitting the company or pairing up with Microsoft, Android's head of user experience has expressed a willingness to work with Research In Motion on devices with hardware keyboards.
ABC's Joanna Stern cites Google's Director of Android User Experience, Matias Duarte, as saying he'd be more than willing to work with RIM if the company wanted to make Android phones with physical keyboards.
"If RIM wanted to work on Android devices, I would really welcome that," he told ABC. "They clearly make great physical keyboards."
Duarte's statement come at a time when Android-based smartphones will full QWERTY keyboards are very scarce. The industry seems to have forgotten that some prefer to type with hardware buttons as opposed to on-screen keypads. In fact, recent trends have seen smartphone makers adopt even larger displays to increase touchscreen real estate.
Forbes reports that RIM CEO Thorton Heins dismissed rumors of collaborations with third-party companies during a conference call on Thursday. Heins said RIM is intent on producing its own platform in order to provide customers with the best experience:
“We came to the decision that joining the family of the Android players, for example, would not fit RIM's strategy and its customers," he said. "We are not trying to be one of many. We're trying to be different. We're trying to be the best solution for our customers that buy a BlackBerry, know why they want a BlackBerry. And we're aiming for nothing less than being a viable, successful, mobile computing platform of the future."
So it looks like RIM won't be partnering with either Microsoft or Google any time soon. If you ask us, that's kind of a shame. We can't be the only ones intrigued by the idea of a BlackBerry handset running Android, right?