It is very clear BlackBerry is yet to wash its hands off the hardware business. According to CEO John Chen, he revealed this this week via means of an interview with The National of Abu Dhabi. John Chen is confident that we have not seen the last of blackberry yet as two fresh BlackBerry smartphones would be released this 2016. One would come with a with a complete touchscreen while the second one would come with physical keyboard. According to plans of Blackberry, both smartphones would run an Android operating system.
Yet what would separate the Priv from these two smartphones given that the Priv is the company’s first Android-powered smartphone? Looming at sales, dating back to its launch in 2015; the Priv was dramatically unsuccessful in boosting sales as it dived down last quarter to 600,000 units.
PRIV WAS CLEARLY “TOO HIGH-END A PRODUCT”
Chen humbly opened up that that the Priv was not really the best path blackberry should have taken as he said to media “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.” He also put in that the $699 slider phone was “was too high-end a product,” making mention that “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.'” (The Priv’s price has of late fallen down to $649.)
Rumours heavily circulating suggest that the two new BlackBerry phones could have code-names of the Hamburg and the Rome with blackberry aiming at a mid-level price point. BlackBerry executives are more of a consensus of targeting a sub-$500 price off-contract. With the company hoping to exploit its marketing advantage that it actually sells more secure Android devices.
We had blurred images of the upcoming blackberry phones on the BBM channel of Dylan Habkirk, who happens to be BlackBerry Central founder. These were further solidification of the likelihood that Blackberry is rallying their last productive energy to stay in the hardware business with the company setting sights at 5 million phones per year. This target is required to keep business still profitable for them. But then with the latest struggles of Blackberry, should these last efforts turn out disappointing, Blackberry may soon pack their baggages off the hardware business.