Priv May Be Last BlackBerry Smartphone If It Doesn’t Succeed

by Istvan Fekete on October 13, 2015

What is merely a drop in a bucket for smartphone manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung is a huge step forward for Blackberry. In an interview with The Verge at the Code Mobility conference, CEO John Chen said that his goal is to sell 5 million BlackBerry smartphones a year. That’s what is necessary to make the smartphone arm of the business profitable.

Compared to BlackBerry’s glory days when it was the most popular smartphone brand in the world, this is a very modest goal. However, should it fail to reach that goal, the company would exit the smartphone business altogether, Chen suggested.

As it turns out, he has high hopes for the upcoming BlackBerry Priv, the Android-powered slider device that will launch before the end of the year. The Priv runs Android instead of BlackBerry’s own BB10 mobile OS, but it still features the company’s secure technology. According to Chen, BlackBerry’s security is currently on a par with Samsung’s Knox, but the Priv will have better battery and antenna technology, will sport a physical keyboard, and boast other tech specs which aim to make the device appealing compared to other smartphones.

Part of his sales plan is a partnership with US carriers. As you may already know, it was nearly impossible to purchase a BlackBerry device in carrier stores in the US for years, a major disadvantage for the manufacturer compared to other OEMs. That changes with the Priv: BlackBerry is currently in talks with carriers, so you’ll find it in stores when it launches. And since it runs Android, it will be easier for carrier staff to help customers with it, since they are already familiar with the mobile OS.

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

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