BlackBerry is prepared to give Android devices another go later this year; and it has even admitted that mistakes were made with the Priv. The two BlackBerry smartphones, supposedly codenamed “Rome” and “Hamburg”, are destined for the mid-range market as the Canadian smartphone maker looks to be shifting its focus.
The change in strategy comes as BlackBerry CEO John Chen admitted that the $700 (sold for RM3559 locally) price tag on the Priv put off a lot of potential buyers. Chen said that he had spoken to enterprise customers who were interested in the Priv, but couldn’t justify the premium retail price. To cater to these individuals, BlackBerry is targeting a $400 (about RM1500) price for its next two Android devices.
Chen also revealed that the difference with the two devices would be the presence of a physical keyboard. It is likely that BlackBerry will abandon the sliding keyboard design to keep costs down; although it would be an interesting twist if the feature was retained on mid-range devices.
There was no news about any new BB10 devices. Any potential release of new devices based on BlackBerry’s proprietary operating system looks increasingly unlikely; considering the number of app developers dropping support for the OS. Facebook has disabled its BlackBerry app and WhatsApp has similarly announced that it would no longer be supporting the platform.
[Source: The National]