UPDATE: BlackBerry has confirmed BlackBerry 10.2 will not offer Google Play Store support, or at least there is no such plans in place.
The Canadian smartphone manufacturer has issued a statement outlining there are no plans to introduce Google Play support into BB10 devices in the near future.
“We can confirm that there is no planned support for Google Play on BlackBerry”, reads the firm’s official statement.
BlackBerry highlighted the increasing strength of the BlackBerry World app store, suggesting it feels it doesn’t need Google Play for support.
“BlackBerry World remains the primary source for trusted and curated BlackBerry applications and we continue to support open standards and open source tools so BlackBerry developers can continue to create apps on any of the development platforms we support.”
The next BlackBerry 10 update could bring the Google Play Store to BB10 devices like the BlackBerry Z10.
Pictures of the Google Play Store running on a BlackBerry Z10 have emerged online, complete with a new BlackBerry 10 OS version.
Although not officially confirmed by BlackBerry, it seems a new Android Runtime is expected to be incorporated in the next BB10 build. This will allow the Google Play Store to be installed on BlackBerry 10 devices including the BlackBerry Q10.
BB10 users will then be able to install Android apps and other content to their devices, opening up a whole new library of apps beyond the rather limited BlackBerry World.
The pictures come courtesy of a CrackBerry forum commenter and may well be fake, but if Google Play compatibility does come to BB10 devices, it may well mark a true comeback for the struggling Canadian smartphone manufacturer.
BlackBerry announced earlier this month that it was no longer looking for a takeover buyer, as the company has secured around $1 billion worth of investment.
It was also revealed that Apple attempted a BlackBerry buyout before being blocked by the company’s board members.
The BlackBerry 10.2 update started rolling out to users in late October, offering new features like BlackBerry Priority Hub, BlackBerry Natural Sounds and integrated BBM across all apps.
“BlackBerry 10.2 OS introduces new features like BlackBerry Priority Hub, BlackBerry Natural Sounds and BBM now in any app that will help you be more productive and stay better connected when it counts”, said BlackBerry in an official blog post. “Plus, with hundreds of new refinements, BlackBerry 10.2 makes the things you do every day faster and easier.”
It also introduced an iOS-like notifications lock screen, offering previews of all the emails, texts and other content that comes flooding in.
BlackBerry has yet to announce Google Play compatibility for BlackBerry 10, but we reckon it will be a pretty major event if and when it does.
Next, read our pick of the best smartphones of 2013.