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BlackBerry launching two new Android phones in 2016


BlackBerry Priv

It seems even BlackBerry has fallen out of love with its own mobile operating system.

BlackBerry plans to launch two new Android smartphones before the end of the year.

The new devices were revealed by BlackBerry CEO John Chen during an interview with The National.

According to Chen, both handsets will fall in the mid-range category, which means they won’t technically sit as successors to last year’s Google-powered BlackBerry Priv.

Chen is quoted as saying that the Priv “was too high-end a product”, commenting on BlackBerry’s recent revelation that it only sold 600,000 Priv handsets, far below the 850,000 forecast.

“The fact that we came out with a high-end phone [as our first Android device] was probably not as wise as it should have been,” said Chen.

He continued: “A lot of enterprise customers have said to us, ‘I want to buy your phone but $700 is a little too steep for me. I’m more interested in a $400 device.”

Related: Best Android Smartphones 2016

The BlackBerry Priv is a keyboard-slider Android smartphone that was first announced on September 25 last year.

The device was officially released for sale on November 6 that same year but despite receiving significant media attention, failed to meet BlackBerry’s sales expectations.

What did you think of the BlackBerry Priv? Let us know in the comments.

Dead Words

April 8, 2016, 3:05 pm

The Blackberry Priv was actually a solid device and for a company like Blackberry, or any company that's never really made a foray into Android, it sold extremely well. It probably would've sold better if it hadn't been so expensive, but it was a decent first try for Blackberry.


April 9, 2016, 10:46 am

I was very interested in getting the Priv but there are a couple of reasons why I didn't bother...
First; I hate qwerty keyboards. The T9 type is much easier and quicker to use.
Secondly; the security settings were far from what I am seeking.
I want to be able to separately, for each app, customise the security/access permissions, not just a general setting that applies across the board.
This also means being able to individually, deny or permit, access to the phone's identity, sim card, contacts, location (precise/approximate), camera, SD card, text messages, internet, browsing history, etc etc. Each item, individually, for each app.
A settings option, to have a notification telling me when an app is trying to access something and telling me it's been allowed or denied, would be great too, with an option at the time to continue to allow or deny it, always, or just this once.
Another phone setting that i look for is an option to load desktop or mobile versions of web sites. - Not the useless check box that chrome has, because that's a web page setting that gets forgotten when you clear history. I mean an actual phone setting.
A way to block automatic downloads would be nice too, or at least a prompt asking for permission.
I'm not keen on biometric methods of unlocking a phone. If you want access to my phone, you've got to crack into my brain (password/code), not chop my finger off. Likewise, if you get knocked out during an attack, it doesn't take much to press a finger onto a phone. Also, as your prints will be left all over the phone anyway, i wonder how easy it is to 'lift' one, with a bit of sticky tape for instance, and place it over the scanner?
If next time 'Priv' really does mean privacy, then you'll sell your device. If it's a half hearted attempt, we'll only have half a mind to buy it.


April 9, 2016, 12:02 pm

Wow, you must know some old school mafioso type characters! ;)


April 9, 2016, 11:54 pm

I don't want to seem rude, but no duh $700 was too much for a first Android device! Everyone and their neighbor was saying $500 or so was a better price to target, and that reducing unnecessary features like an expensive, power-hogging 1440p screen and an edge-like curved screen would've done a lot to make sure that people were interested.

Blackberry's not the name it used to be and it needs to be a lot less arrogant and try a lot harder than it has been. If they want to compete with even the likes of Samsung, LG, and HTC, they have to price aggressively, and with great core features and no unnecessary and expensive ones.


April 11, 2016, 9:26 am

Haha, I'm not so concerned about the people I know; it's those I don't that I'm wary of.
I consider biometric methods of unlocking a phone, akin to writing your pin number on your cashpoint card.
With regards to granting or denying permission to access the phones systems and our data (which we should be able to encrypt), I think it's a fundamental right that we are notified when that's requested, and that we are can control it.


April 11, 2016, 10:23 am

Surely price is relative though, don't you think?
My experience in most cases is, you get what you pay for.
I don't think it's more important to have a lesser price than your competitor; I think it's more important to have a better product.
I can't think of any time when I've ever bought something that isn't an improvement on it's predecessor.
I agree with your point about a curved edge and power hungry screen; It's not what I consider desirable.
Note to Blackberry, don't follow trends, set your own. Less focus on appearance, more on performance and software please.

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