Following the launch of the Blackberry Priv, the company has today revealed that they will launch two more Android smartphones later this year. CEO John Chen revealed this information to The National along with a statement regarding the Priv.
Mr Chen admitted that the Priv “was too high-end a product”, with its target market of enterprise customers put off by the handset’s US$700 price tag. “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,” Mr Chen said during a visit to Abu Dhabi. “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’.”
Moving to the future, Blackberry will be focusing still on the Android market, but with more affordable, mid-range devices. These two devices would include one with a physical QWERTY keyboard and another with a standard full touchscreen design.
Blackberry’s CEO has already stated that if the company cannot reach profitability in 2016 they will exit the hardware market. With the Priv seeing lackluster sales, falling over 250,000 units sold below forecasts, these upcoming smartphones could be the last shot for the company’s hardware business. That said however, these devices could also be the ones to save the company as buyers have already expressed interest in less expensive devices and with Blackberry’s take on Android security, it could be the top choice for businesses in terms of secure smartphones.