Back in November last year we conducted an interview with BlackBerry’s Nader Henein, responsible for advanced security solutions in the company’s Advisory Division, and during our chat he hinted that the Priv probably won’t be its last Android phone from the Canadian company.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen has now also come out to confirm that it will be launching two more Android-based mobile phones – one with a physical keyboard, and another with a full touchscreen.
Speaking to The National, Chen declined to give any more details as to when the phones will be released or what they will be called. The company needs to bring more phones to the market at an affordable price, as this is something the company learnt with its latest flagship, the Priv.
The Priv had a physical keyboard (as many BlackBerry phones do), but for BlackBerry to push out such a highly-speced phone as its first Android device, was a bit dicey (and pricey) – and Chen now realises this.
“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. 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’,” Chen told The National.
BlackBerry conceded that it has lost the race as a handset company, but Chen is still adamant that he can turn the business around.
“Since I started at the company [in November 2013] I’ve been saying I’ll make the handset business profitable. If I can’t make it profitable because the market won’t let me, then I’ll get out of the handset business. I love our handset business, but we need to make money,” he said.
We rather liked BlackBerry’s Priv and it will be interesting to see what it comes up with next. With other mobile phone companies playing in the same price range space, it could have a tough fight on its hands.