BlackBerry is close to the launch of its first Android smartphone, the Priv. The unlocked model will cost $750 in the U.S. and $949 in Canada, as mentioned in the device’s official listings (accidentally) on BlackBerry’s online store. The listings have been taken down since then, says a report from CrackBerry.
BlackBerry Priv to start shipping next month
The listings also revealed that the device will start shipping on Nov. 16. The handset will be available for preorder this Friday, as suggested by various recent reports.
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The listing confirmed the expected specifications of the handset. The device runs on the powerful Snapdragon 808SoC processor and has a 5.4-inch display with a resolution of 2560×1440 at 540DPI and RAM of 3GB. It packs a powerful battery of 3410 mAh that can last 22.5 hours. It comes with a 2MP front and an 18MP rear camera that offers features like 4K video at 30 fps, OIS, and Phase Detect Auto Focus.
Though BlackBerry is releasing an Android-based phone, it will continue to support devices running BB10 OS. “The market for BB10 devices has been squarely in the high-security business, such as governments and hospitals,” and they do not upgrade their devices very often, CEO John Chen told The Verge previously.
BlackBerry’s future depends on the Priv
The success or failure of the Priv will determine whether or not the Canadian firm will continue with the handset business. On many occasions, Chen has indicated plans to exit the handset business, considering its dismal performance and low market share. And now Chen looks determined to exit the business if the Priv does not reap benefits. This time, Chen has set a target in terms of number of units sold, which, if not met, would lead the company to stop trying.
In a recent interview with The Verge, Chen said that he has set a goal of selling 5 million smartphones a year, as this is the least required to turn the division profitable. If the division does not turn profitable, then BlackBerry will exit the handset business, he told the tech site.
Though the set target is not a crazy number, BlackBerry will need to grow the number of phones it sold in the most recent quarter by more than 50% a quarter. It sold 800,000 devices last quarter. Increasing sales by 50% is a big task, but the Canadian firm will be relying on the Priv to help it in this.