Former RIM exec Jim Balsillie wanted to hook up with providers and build cheap Android smartphones for them. The differentiation would be the availability of BlackBerry services on those devices.
According to Reuters, Jim was talking to both Vodafone and T-Mobile about his plans. The phones would not only use BlackBerry services, but also BlackBerry internet, which would bring down data traffic and potentially limit access to many sites. In such a scenario, RIM would bring back a lot of power to the operators.