BlackBerry Officially Announces Priv, It’s First Smartphone Running Android

by Istvan Fekete on September 28, 2015

Rumours claiming BlackBerry has been working on an Android smartphone have turned out to be true: As part of their Q2 fiscal 2016 results, CEO John Chen took a break for a moment and announced the company’s plans to launch Priv, the first BlackBerry smartphone running Google’s mobile OS. While the official launch date is yet to be announced, this is an unusual move from BlackBerry.

“Today, BlackBerry is announcing two new additions to its handheld device roadmap. First, the company will launch a flagship slider device, Priv, which will run on the Android operating system, bringing together the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform. In combination with BlackBerry’s efforts to support Android for Work on the BES12 platform, the new device will offer best in class security for enterprise customers. BlackBerry expects the device to be available late in the calendar year in major markets in-store and online, and will release further details in the coming weeks.”


This doesn’t mean BlackBerry will drop its own mobile operating system for Android, although there are other Android smartphones in the works. BlackBerry 10 will live on: The company will continue to develop and enhance its own OS, and will release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements.

The new, Android-powered device, however, aims to provide a choice in OS to new and existing customers. Chen said that it is announcing Priv now because the rumours around the device had begun to heat up.

An interesting addition to the announcement: BlackBerry’s move is so unusual that it even confused its own CEO, so the first exclusive look at the Priv was frustrating: first Chen told the interviewer that it ran Google but then he got lost trying to open Google Chrome. Good luck with your Android smartphone BlackBerry.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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