While BlackBerry Priv, the company’s first smartphone to run Android, was offered to AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon as an “exclusive.” Not quite sure how three companies all get an exclusive but that’s for another day. Adding, or detracting really, from that “exclusivity” was Sprint’s promise to offer the Priv as well; something that Sprint is now walking back as it no longer plans to offer the device.
You can’t really blame Sprint
What ever the thought processes Sprint went through before doing its one-eighty, you can hardly blame the company. Even BlackBerry’s CEO, John Chen, believes that it was not the best of ideas.
“The fact that we came out with a high end phone [as our first Android device] was probably not as wise as it should have been.” Chen recently told Abu Dhabi’s The National. He added that the $699 slider phone was “was too high-end a product,” continuing with “a lot of enterprise customers have said to us: ‘I want to buy your phone, but $700 is a little too steep for me. I’m more interested in a $400 device.'”
While the phone has dropped to $649, that remains quite a ways away from the requested $400 device.
And apparently, that’s enough reason for Sprint to backtrack on its plans to offer the device to its customers.
The Android-running 5.4-inch quad-HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor and 3 GB of RAM is a nice device, but certainly doesn’t warrant a price tag of $649.
BlackBerry Priv – Sprint’s decision revealed
While Sprint customers were told that the Priv would be available “soon,” they are now being told that that quite simply isn’t going to happen.
In a post on Sprint’s official online community forum, a number of customers have posted that they have received messages from Sprint representatives telling them that the Priv will not be offered by the company.
Sprint Care recently tweeted, “@CU4ABeer Sorry to say but we will no longer carry the BlackBerry PRIV. If this changes in the future we will update customers. JXC”
It doesn’t sound as if there is any rift between the two companies, it’s simply likely that Sprint has no interest in selling a handset with such limited demand.
Despite failing with the Priv, BlackBerry still intends to release to mid-range phones this year running Android. One will feature BlackBerry’s iconic physical keyboard while the other will have a touchscreen.