BlackBerry’s first Android-powered smartphone, the Venice, has been in the news for quite some time now, so we are all familiar with its expected specs and other details. But what we didn’t know until now is that the device will be launched with a different name when it hits the market.
New name in line with features
According to well-known tipster Evan Blass, BlackBerry plans to shed the code-name Venice, and instead will name the device the BlackBerry Priv. The name underscores a nod to the privacy and security focus of the company which is being brought over to Android.
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The BlackBerry Venice is expected to be launched in November. Blass claims the device will be available on all four major U.S. carriers namely AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobiles, and Sprint. Pricing details for the handset are still a secret, but going by its specifications, it could be a premium phone.
The BlackBerry Venice or Priv could come with a 5.4-inch QHD LCD screen, a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, an 18MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. The device is expected to run on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and could come with various BlackBerry enhancements.
A recent hands-on video shows the BlackBerry Priv with a QWERTY keyboard featuring a capacitive touch input, which enables users to scroll through the page just by touching the keyboard. The handset could come preloaded with Password Keeper, an app usually seen on BlackBerry handsets which offers users the ability to save and manage passwords and logins and store information safely and securely.
BlackBerry lays off 200 Venice developers
BlackBerry’s phone ambitions are at their lowest as the firm prepares to launch its first pure Android phone. According to a report from Reuters, the Canadian firm laid off 200 hardware and design staff after it completed the work on the Venice. It’s the latest in a succession of “resource reallocations.”
BlackBerry launched BB10 in January 2013 and since then has been struggling to achieve decent sales volume for its smartphones. In the last quarter, the company shipped only 1.1 million units. BlackBerry CEO John Chen has stated several times that the company will continue manufacturing handsets only if it is profitable, and the break-even point has not been reached yet.
So the upcoming Android phone from BlackBerry is expected to play a decisive role in deciding the fate of the Canadian firm’s hardware business.