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Blackberry To Launch Budget Androids, CEO Chen Terms Priv Launch, An Unwise Decision

Blackberry CEO Jack Chen
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After its Priv smartphone failed to live up to the hype it was generating as Blackberry’s first Android, the company has announced a couple of relatively lower priced Android powered devices, in the pipeline.

Priv was unarguably a good device. The hardware was great and the security and privacy features offered were pretty comprehensive as well. However, the device was too expensive and even made many of the business executives — towards whom it was chiefly aimed — think twice before purchasing it.


The device started off at $700 and its price was later dropped to $649 in face of consumer demand. However, the $50 cut was too little too late and Priv sales dropped to just 600,000 units in the last quarter.

Well, the company seems to have made some corrections in its strategy. Speaking to The National, CEO Jack Chen said

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.


Hence the purported, lower end Android devices. Codenamed Rome and Hamburg, both the devices will run Android and will be likely to fall in the neighbourhood of $500.

Images claiming to be the new phones were found upon the BlackBerry Central founder Dylan Habkirk’s BBM channel link. However, they are very blurry and the only thing that can be made out with any certainty is the fact that one of these devices is going to be a complete touchscreen.

The other one meanwhile, would probably be based upon  Priv’s example. However, that’s about it, the company hasnt  sent out any official word whatsoever on the topic.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry seems to be working quite hard to get back into the mainstream as a contender — or at least out of its survival struggles. Priv, while a good device, failed to contribute significantly towards Chen’s 5 million devices sold target. Let’s hope the upcoming androids from BlackBerry, can change that.


A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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