We initially heard about the first BlackBerry Android-powered smartphone, the Priv, in September 2015. However, even though the company tried very hard with its Android-powered smartphone, it could not supersede the popularity of BlackBerry’s older models. Now it seems the Canadian firm is ready to drop it off.
Is BlackBerry discontinuing the Priv?
BlackBerry’s online store Shop BlackBerry started its May Sale earlier this week. Almost all the available products are on sale, but the Priv is no longer available on the online store in Canada and the U.S. Consumers, however, can still purchase cases for the smartphone to protect it from breaking, notes mobilesyrup.
It is unclear if the company has delisted the Priv, but recent events suggest that the Android-powered smartphone may have been discontinued because the company is now beginning to transition away from in-house consumer electronics. As of now, there have been no comments from BlackBerry on the matter.
Though the Priv, which garnered a lot of attention for being BlackBerry’s first Android phone, is not featured on BlackBerry’s Canada and U.S. digital marketplace, it is still available for purchase in the United Kingdom and Germany at £294 and €342, respectively. This indicates that the device may not be discontinued but could just be out of stock in some regions. We are waiting for an official statement from BlackBerry regarding the matter. Until then, nothing certain can be said about the device’s discontinuation.
The Priv, which was confirmed by CEO John Chen in 2015, officially started the Android-era for the Canadian firm. The Priv was unable to deliver the usual BlackBerry physical keyboard experience to the fans which was probably why it failed to gain popularity. Because of the slider, the Priv was not able to offer the trademark fretted keyboard style that made the physical QWERTY on the Bold 9000 one of the best. The QWERTY keyboards on the Bold 9900 and Bold 9930 may not be as great, but they still deserve “Honorable Mentions,” notes PhoneArena.
Big discounts on other models
Apart from the Priv, the Passport, Classic and Leap are also not available. The only listings for these phones are for accessories. BlackBerry’s DTEK lineup is still available on the online store at significant discounts.
In the May Sale, the DTEK50 is priced at $229 in the U.S., a 23% or $70 discount off the usual $299 price. The DTEK60 is available for $460, which is a 7.8% or $39 price reduction from the usual $499. The accessories that are available for sale on the site include some official headphones and a selection of leather, hard-shell and flip cases. Several accessories are available at a 50% discount.
There is no official closing date for the May Sale, so we are not certain if it will last this month or end at an earlier date. By this sale, the company also seems to be making preparations for the release of the KEYone, which is being billed as the “best Android powered smartphone ever.” Considering this, it seems only reasonable that the Waterloo-based company is discontinuing less popular devices.