After numerous rumors and reports around BlackBerry welcoming Android OS for its smartphone, the company's CEO John Chen finally confirmed that they are indeed working on its first ever Android smartphone, the BlackBerry Priv, and will launch it by the end of 2015 in major markets. The company revealed the information in its report for second quarter results for fiscal year 2016, which shows that the company's smartphone sales have plummeted further to get worse than ever.
BlackBerry's John Chen said in the report that, "Today, I am confirming our plans to launch Priv, an Android device named after BlackBerry's heritage and core mission of protecting our customers' privacy. Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform."
On its current market value and weakening sales, the once-leading smartphone company mentioned in its statement that it generated smartphone revenue on just 800,000 smartphones sold on the quarter, with an average selling price of $240. The results clearly show how bad the hardware sales number has been, and is getting worst, considering that the BB10 could not do much good for the company.
Now that BlackBerry's smartphone market share and sales have dropped significantly, the only possible way out of this situation is to take the support of Android OS. An Android smartphone may, or may not help BlackBerry recover the losses and save itself from drowning. CEO Chen also said that BlackBerry is still committed to supporting BB10, and will release the BB 10.3.3 OS update in March 2016.
Key specifications and features: BlackBerry Priv Android smartphone
The company is now working on the BlackBerry Priv (shorten for Privacy) Android smartphone for end of 2015 launch, and will be selling it via online and offline mode. The upcoming BlackBerry phone is a slider phone combing touchscreen and QWERTY keypad input, and running Android. It was initially called BlackBerry Venice, however a recent report revealed its name to be ‘Priv'.
As for its specifications, rumors so far suggested that the BlackBerry Priv will feature a 5.4-inch Quad HD display with 2560x1440 pixels resolution, and be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core chipset with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. It wil sport an 18MP rear camera with dual LED Flash, OIS, and PDAF, and a 5MP front-facing selfie camera. Other features will include microSD slot, and 4G LTE connectivity.