Troubled Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry will apparently release three more Android-power handsets.
The company formerly known as RIM launched its first Android smartphone towards the end of 2015. The BlackBerry Priv was a pretty accomplished phone with a slide-out keyboard and strong security features.
Now it’s claimed that BlackBerry plans to launch three new Android phones over the next year or so.
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According to VentureBeat‘s sources, BlackBerry will be releasing a new Android phone each quarter for the next three quarters. These are said to be code-named Neon, Argon, and Mercury, and “will target a range of form factors and price points”.
The first of these will be the Neon, which will be a mid-range effort with no physical keyboard. Instead, it will be reliant on a 5.2-inch 1080p display. Apparently the Neon will feature an aluminium frame and a plastic back, and will be powered by a Snapdragon 617 CPU with 3GB of RAM. There’ll also be a 13-megapixel camera and QuickCharge 2.0.
Next up we have the Argon, which will be the best-specced phone of the three when it lands in October. Expect a 5.5-inch QHD display, a Snapdragon 820 CPU with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 21-megapixel camera, and QuickCharge 3.0. Again, there’ll be no physical keyboard.
Finally there’s the Mercury, which is the only one of the three with a physical keyboard. Unlike the Priv, though, it’ll be fixed. On top of this keyboard there’ll be a 4.5-inch 1080p display in a 3:2 aspect ratio, so it’ll be more like the classic BlackBerry shape. It’ll be powered by a Snapdragon 625 CPU with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and there’ll be an 18-megapixel camera. Expect to see it some time in Q1 of 2017.
It’s perhaps a little surprising to hear of these plans. Despite being one of the better-received BlackBerry phones of recent years, reports suggest that the Priv hasn’t sold all that well. A high-level executive for US mobile network AT&T recently said that “The Blackberry Priv is really struggling.”
Apparently, BlackBerry only sold 600,000 Privs in Q4 of 2015, where it was expecting to sell 850,000. BlackBerry itself hasn’t released any sales figures for its maiden Android effort.
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