Blackberry’s Android Phone ‘Blackbery Priv’ Will Be Out This Year

By on September 25, 2015 | 2:12 pm
September 25, 2015 | 2:12 pm
Blackberry Priv
September 25, 2015 | 2:12 pm

Once upon a time, Blackberry was the name on everybody’s lips. From young teens to business professionals, everybody wanted a Blackberry, as the QWERTY keyboard combined with their BBM messaging made Blackberry phones sleek, smart, and incredibly useful. Unfortunately, with the rise of the iPhone and other such touchscreen handsets, Blackberry was slow on the uptake leading the company to lose millions. And although the company has tried its best to stay on track, over the past few years there have been various rumors of buyouts, from companies like Lenovo, Microsoft, and even Samsung.

In the last quarter, which ended in August, Blackberry’s revenue fell to $490 million, which is just over half of its revenue from the same quarter in 2014. Plus, the company just shelled out $425 million to buy mobile security firm Good Technology, which is a good investment but one that clearly didn’t come cheaply. It makes sense then that to stave off any further buyout rumors and to make sure that the company’s books stay firmly in the black, that Blackberry is now getting into the Android smartphone market with the Blackberry Priv.

The suggestion of an Android-powered Blackberry phone came in June when Blackberry CEO John Chen said that “we only build secure phones, and BlackBerry is the most secure phone” and that “if I can find a way to secure the Android phone, I will also build that”. After confirming the Blackberry Priv’s existence (Priv seems to be short for privacy or private), Chen released the following statement about the handset:

“Today, BlackBerry is announcing two new additions to its handheld device roadmap. First, the company will launch a flagship slider device, Priv, which will run on the Android operating system, bringing together the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform. In combination with BlackBerry’s efforts to support Android for Work on the BES12 platform, the new device will offer best in class security for enterprise customers.”

As for their Blackberry 10 operating system, which is also doing its bit to make Blackberry’s handsets more secure, Chen said this:

“While the new device will provide a choice in OS to new and existing customers, the company remains committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which enables industry-leading security and productivity benefits. Second, the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and is confirming plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be available in March 2016.”

So while we have an idea of how the Blackberry Priv fits into Blackberry’s security ecosystem, what we don’t have is a list of specs. The most popular rumors and speculation surrounding the handset are that the Priv will be powered by the Snapdragon 808 chipset, 3GB of RAM, and it will have a 18 megapixel camera with dual-flash. And it will run on Android Lollipop too. None of this has been confirmed yet though, but with the Blackberry Priv due out later this year, official information should be right around the corner.

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