BlackBerry PRIV Android smartphone (rear)

BlackBerry to launch two mid-range Android smartphones in 2016

BlackBerry chief executive John Chen has confirmed that his company is to launch two mid-range Android smartphones this year. One of the devices will follow BlackBerry’s heritage and feature a physical keyboard, with the other designed to a more standard smartphone form factor.

The BlackBerry PRIV was launch promising a secure Android environment. It was hoped this proposition would appeal to enterprise customers, but sales have been poor.

Speaking to The Nation, Chen admitted that the price of the PRIV had put off some customers.

“The fact that we came out with a high end phone [with the launch of the PRIV] was probably not as wise as it should have been,” Chen said. “A lot of enterprise customers have said to us, ‘I want to buy your phone but $700 (€615/$495) is a little too steep for me. I’m more interested in a $400 (€350/£285) device’.”