BlackBerry is planning to launch two new smartphones in the mid-range segment. One smartphone will have a physical keyboard while the other one will sport a full touchscreen and both devices will run on Android.
The news was confirmed by CEO of BlackBerry, John Chen in an interview with the Abu Dhabi-based media The National.
However, the question ringing on everyone’s mind is how different will be the device with the Priv, BlackBerry’s first Android-powered smartphone, as it has failed to boost sales since its launch last year. The sales of the device plummeted to just 600,000 units last quarter.
Chen conceded that the company has taken a misstep in making the Priv and also told the government-owned paper, “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 said that the slider phone was “was too high-end a product,” priced at the US $699. “…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.'” (Recently, The Priv’s price was reduced to $649.),” he said.
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BlackBerry intends to launch two mid-range smartphones rumoured code-named as the Rome and the Hamburg. Apparently, BlackBerry executives are pushing for a sub-$500 price off-contract. The Canadian company will keep improvising marketing angle which would sell the truly secure Android devices, notes The Verge.
Few blurry images of the two new BlackBerry device were found on BlackBerry Central and are supposed to be renders, as the pictures don’t reveal much. Irrespective of looks of the devices, these two smartphones would be Chen’s last attempt to keep the firm as a hardware company.
Previously, he targeted a sale of 5 million phones per year which would keep the unit profitable, and if he fails to achieve the goal, he would be left with no other option other than to abandon the effort.