BlackBerry to launch 2 mid-range Android smartphones this year

BlackBerry to launch 2 mid-range Android smartphones this year
BlackBerry’s Android flagship – The Priv

Canadian phone manufacturer BlackBerry was one of the pioneers of the smartphone era. But, after Apple and Google forayed into the smartphone market, it’s relevance and sales kept dwindling until it reached a stage where the company had to struggle stay solvent.

Many experts believe that BlackBerry’s inability to innovate their O.S to keep up with the likes of iOS and Android was the biggest reasons behind the smartphone maker’s downfall. Apart from the O.S, WhatsApp messenger quickly started gaining momentum due to it’s cross platform capability and put an end to BlackBerry’s sought after and dominated messenger service.

Years later, BlackBerry finally made the switch to Android. It’s first Android flagship, the Priv, however failed to make it’s mark. While it ticked a lot of right boxes, it disappointed many with it’s high price tag, new keyboard and an unimpressive messenger hub. BlackBerry even announced a price cut and reduced the price to Rs. 57,000, from the earlier 62,000, in India.

But, that didn’t cut it. It still ended up missing it’s quarterly target of 850,000 by over 20 percent.

But the company hasn’t given up. In an interview with The National yesterday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that the company is planning to introduce two new Android phones this year. Although he didn’t reveal their names or specs, he mentioned that both will be launched in the $300 to $400 price bracket. In addition to the price, he also said that one of them will feature a physical QWERTY keyboard while the other will be full touchscreen smartphone.

In the interview, Chen admitted that the company had failed to price the Priv correctly. With a sub $400 pricing, however, the company is much more confident of delivering handsets that will appeal to both enterprise and personal users.

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