Only 850,000 BlackBerry branded devices shipped in 2017

BlackBerry Mobile appeared to get things on track last year with the release of two handsets. Both were manufactured by TCL under license from BlackBerry. In April, BlackBerry released the KEYone. Even though it sports a physical QWERTY keyboard, this is not your grandpappy's 'Berry. For example, a fingerprint scanner was cleverly embedded in the keyboard's space bar. Making our list of the most underrated phones of 2017, the KEYone features that fabulous aforementioned QWERTY, and outstanding battery life.

TCL also launched the BlackBerry Motion in October, an "all-touch" handset that had a few firsts for BlackBerry. The Motion is the first 'Berry to have an IP certification rating (IP67), a 4000mAh battery, and a dual SIM tray. Like the KEYone, the Motion features a long battery life.

It seemed that both phones were well-received by consumers, and were sold in 50 countries and offered by more than 110 carriers last year. Many BlackBerry fans expected to see the two handsets help the brand achieve a big turnaround in 2017, and TCL/BlackBerry executives said that the launch of the KEYone was a huge success. With all of that in mind, IDC’s Francisco Jeronimo says that only 850,000 devices carrying the BlackBerry brand were shipped last year. That includes both the KEYone and Motion.

For comparison purposes, another old line name making a comeback is Nokia. The name has been licensed by HMD Global and the latter shipped 4.4 million units during the fourth quarter of 2017 alone. Now that sounds like a comeback. Still, BlackBerry Mobile's Global GM Francois Mahieu made it clear that in terms of reaching consumers, the KEYone was extremely successful since it can be found almost everywhere.

With two new handsets promised for this year, BlackBerry Mobile (TCL) needs to make sure that the public understands that the BlackBerry operating system is no longer in use. With Android inside, there is no app gap like in the olden days. Perhaps raising the marketing budget will help get the word out faster. After all, BlackBerry has been using Android exclusively since November 2015 with the BlackBerry Priv.

source: TheVerge, TechRadar

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