The Priv, BlackBerry’s first Android smartphone, will be launched on September 20 in Seoul, South Korea. The Canadian firm distanced itself from the Korean market for almost three years, and now with the Priv, it is making a comeback.

BlackBerry Priv
Image Source: BlackBerry.com

BlackBerry to re-enter Korean market

A BlackBerry spokesman confirmed that no new regional offices will be set up, as it had before. The Canadian firm first entered the Korean market in 2009 and managed to build a strong fan base over there, but unfortunately, the company lost out to Apple, LG and Samsung.

In 2012, several other players like HTC, Nokia, Motorola also abandoned the market owing to competition from local players, especially Samsung, which has good relations with local distributors, notes ZDNet.  Though Apple was the only foreign brand to command popularity in the region, it accounted for a much lower market share compared to Samsung (10% compared to Samsung’s 70%), says ZDNet.

Now the scenario is changing. With the rising demand for price competitive smartphones, numerous foreign companies are launching their phones in the country. Recently, China’s Huawei launched a variation of the P9 lite: the Be Y. Also Sony, which stopped the release of its smartphones without moving out of Korea, began sales of its Xperia X there in June, notes ZDNet.

The BlackBerry Priv, which was launched in November 2015 in the U.S., comes with a 5.4-inch QHD display, a Snapdragon 8o8 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 32 of GB internal memory and the firm’s signature QWERTY Keyboard.

Providing secure Samsung tablets to Germany

In other news pertaining to BlackBerry’s relationship with Korea, the Canadian firm announced at the IFA Berlin conference that its SecuTABLET, which is based on Samsung’s latest Galaxy Tab S2, will be used by German government agencies. The German Federal Office for Information Security recently approved the device for use, making it the latest BlackBerry device to meet the strict guidelines set up by the German government for secure communications.

To encrypt mobile data and the information on the tablet, the SecuTABLET uses a security card. The device uses integrated Certificate Management software to provide data communication and a secure VPN.

“In conjunction with Samsung’s Knox security platform and BlackBerry’s MAM platform, the SecuTABLET enables users to access both business apps for working securely on the go and personal apps, all the while meeting the strict security requirements of German government agencies,” the Canadian firm said in a press release.