In November, BlackBerry released the Priv. The Priv was a great start to the Android-BlackBerry union but it was too flawed for the market’s requirements at that point. The device released too late in the year and updates to sort out flaws were far too late into this year to keep the Priv afloat. But now, news of BlackBerry launching two mid-range devices this year marks a change in strategy.
This was confirmed by CEO John Chen in an interview with a UAE newspaper a few days ago. One of the devices will feature a physical keyboard and the other will be fully touchscreen.
“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,” Chen was quoted as saying by the paper. “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 [Dh1,470] device’.”
Mid-range is currently the segment in the smartphone world that is a focus for many brands such a Samsung, Xiaomi and Meizu. Affordable pricing with top specs has proven to be a winning formula for these brands over the past two years. Considering BlackBerry’s Enterprise market and its concentration on the same, mid-range devices can provide the help the Canadian brand is desperately looking for.
“We believe there is an opportunity with business users who don’t want the expense of giving iPhones to their employees and want a robust, affordable and secure Android smartphone tailored to business use,” said Chen.
What these devices will be in terms of specs remains a mystery. Apart from the above blurred image, nothing else is known. Watch this space for further updates on when we’ll see BlackBerry launching these smartphones.