2016 is going to be Android centric for Blackberry
This year is going to be Android centric for BlackBerry’s newest phones. The Company plans to release one new product, and potentially a second phone, in 2016. Both will run on Google’s mobile software, CEO John Chen confirmed in an interview at CES in Las Vegas.
Although BlackBerry will continue to exist, it won’t offer any phones running on its own BlackBerry 10 software. Still, future Android BlackBerry devices mean more choice besides the usual mix of Samsung, LG or HTC Android phones. Chen declined to comment on timing or details of the upcoming phones.
It’s been roughly two months since Priv’s launch, however, it’s “so far, so good,” Chen said. “I’m taking a cautiously optimistic view.”
Priv currently costs $699 and Blackberry is planning to sell it in 31 countries over the next few quarters. Chen said the price will likely come down over time. Chen also hopes that the Priv will help improve the company’s viability, repair the brand and eventually make it possible to produce another phone running BlackBerry 10 although he said it’s too early to talk about those plans.
BlackBerry has pegged 2016 as a make-or-break year for the phone business. If the company continues to lose money, he could look at dumping it. As for the BlackBerry 10 fans, hope isn’t lost yet. Chen didn’t outright say he’s abandoning the software. This year, the company is focused on getting national security certification for BlackBerry 10 so the devices can be used in certain government and corporate projects. The company will continue to offer the BlackBerry Classic and older devices, but it isn’t investing in new hardware.
The BlackBerry faithful will have to exercise extreme patience.