The BlackBerry Priv seems to be doing very well for the company. The Android-based device not only is becoming available on Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile but is also ushering in what is clearly a new era of smartphones for the Canadian firm.
Only Android, No BB10
In an interview with CNET during CES 2016, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company plans to release only Android smartphones in the current year. The Canadian firm is apparently working on one or two smartphones, according to the news outlet.
Chen’s statements do suggests that the company doesn’t have any plans of manufacturing BB 10 devices, at least this year. BlackBerry’s sticking to the Android platform might spell bad news for people who enjoy using BlackBerry’s home-built BB 10 OS. Nevertheless, CNET noted that the Canadian firm is not ditching the BB10 OS, but it does not intend to spend money on making new phones that run the BB10 OS.
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BlackBerry’s sticking to Android devices means users will have more options to choose from besides the usual mix of Android devices from Samsung, LG or HTC. Chen chose to remain quiet when asked about the timing and details of the upcoming devices.
Why BlackBerry chose a limited roll-out initially
On the Priv, which has been selling for two months now, Chen said “so far, so good,” adding, “I’m taking a cautiously optimistic view.” Smartphones are just like movie premieres, in which there is a lot of excitement on the first weekend. “The question is, does it last?” Chen said.
Pushing the movie analogy further, Chen said it is difficult to generate a ton of excitement when movies are shown just in art houses. BlackBerry did exactly the same with the Priv when it decided to limit the phone’s initial launch to a few carriers such as AT&T in the U.S. Giving reasons for such a move, Chen said he did not have enough resources for a massive roll-out with every carrier.
Blackberry, which plans to sell the Priv in 31 countries over the next few quarters, is very hopeful that it will help it improve its viability, rejuvenate its brand, and eventually make it possible for it to manufacture another device running BB10 OS.
Chen is also “confident in profitability this year.” Since BlackBerry has pegged 2016 as the year in which it will be making the major decision of continuing or shutting down its handset business, profitability holds a lot of importance for the company.