BlackBerry considering the launch of a mid-range Android smartphone in 2016

BlackBerry considering the launch of a mid-range Android smartphone in 2016
In an interview with Bloomberg earlier today, BlackBerry CEO John Chen revealed that his company might launch an upper mid-range smartphone based on Android at some point next year. 

According to Chen, BlackBerry is still on the line whether to actually manufacture and launch this new non-premium handset. Apparently, the existence of this second Android powered BlackBerry device is highly dependent on whether the company's first Android smartphone, the BlackBerry Priv, will turn out to be a success or not.

In the interview, Chen stressed that he's more interested in the profit margin rather than the raw sale volumes. Sure, the BlackBerry Priv is a premium smartphone that integrates many costly components, but the manufacturer is probably making a decent profit at the phone's current retail price of $700.

Since BlackBerry has yet to announce how many Priv units have been shipped since the phone's launch last month, it is difficult to estimate the commercial performance of the phone at this point in time. The Priv has been well received by both fans and the tech media, but it remains to be seen if high praise will go hand in hand with good sales in the Priv's case. HTC can attest that smartphones with great reviews can flop commercially, but hopefully for BlackBerry fans, the Priv won't be the last BlackBerry smartphone in history.

Interestingly, previous leaks claimed to reveal a new BlackBerry smartphone (codenamed Vienna) which, although based on Android like the Priv, will make use of a more traditional BlackBerry design.

source: Bloomberg via GSMArena

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19 Comments

1. avishekmukherjee

Posts: 362; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

Bring it on baby

2. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Yeah! Another Android-powered BlackBerry is welcomed... As long as it's demanding price isn't a steep!

7. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

Being mid-range, I doubt it will have a steep price-tag.

16. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

I hope for them mid range wont be 500.00$ ...

18. Mxyzptlk unregistered

It would have to differentiate itself because there are several midrangers that are quite affordable. Then you have the MXPE and the Nexus 6P, it would have to bring a lot to the table besides being a midrange device and have a reasonable price. A $500 phone with midrange specs won't cut it.

6. PhenomFaz

Posts: 1236; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

Wait! So the Priv with its mid-ranged hardware specs wasn't mid-range? Oh boy the future sure does look bleak

8. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

By your logic, the LG G4 and V10 are both mid-range, as well as the Lumia 950. I guess you feel better the future looks bleak for those devices as well.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

*guess you feel the future looks bleak

12. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Good point. If he's referring to the SD808, that processor is more than capable of handling any high-end task. (Although to be fair, it wouldn't be out of the question to see the LG's and MS's futures as bleak either, but probably not for this reason.)

13. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

Personally, I don't think LG's future looks bleak in mobile. They have been pushing the envelope with features and design, and I believe they definitely have a winner on their hands with the V10. Their sales lately have been break-even at best, but I think that's due to turn around with the release of the G5, if rumored specs are any indication. As for Microsoft, they have more than enough money to keep their mobile division going until they hit a home run, which will most likely happen if they do indeed release the rumored "Surface Phone".

3. WhyAlwaysMe

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 22, 2015

mid range phone from blackberry running android. .... yeah I'm listening

4. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

According to information coming from the Play store sales of the Priv have not been all that hot. http://www.androidauthority.com/data-suggests-blackberry-priv-has-sold-between-10000-50000-units-663987/

5. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

I must add though that this applies to those who bought and activated the phones. It would not reflect any yet-to-be-given Christmas gifts.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

That only reflects devices that have been activated with a BlackBerry ID. It doesn't count shipped, or preordered devices. We also have to take into account sales for the Priv have only been counted for the last quarter, which was about 3 weeks.

10. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

Also, I must add that using the Play Store as a guide to Priv sales is not accurate, which was noted by the the author of the article. The Priv release was also very limited...not that many carrier partners or regions. I think that next quarter will be much more indicative of Priv sales, as there will be more carrier partners and more regions it's released in.

14. penguinbelly

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 27, 2014

I thought Priv is a mid-range offering. Except for its price.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 21485; Member since: May 28, 2014

See comment #8.

19. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Using the 808 doesn't make it midrange. The Note 4 uses the 804 and it's not midrange at all.

17. Tensi

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Yesss! While I like the priv, the vertical slider is much better with a smaller form factor. This phone looks beautiful, come on BlackBerry!

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