BlackBerry to launch two mid-range Android phones this year

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry has decided to go back to the drawing board again after the failure of the Priv, its first Android-powered offering. The brand is looking to launch two mid-range Android phones later this year in order to bolster its handsets division which has been struggling for a while now.

It’s gotten to the point where BlackBerry only sold 600000 phones during the last quarter, well below the 850000 analysts had predicted. In an interview with The National, the brand’s CEO John Chen points towards the high $700 price tag of the Priv as the reason for the handset’s lack of success.

Enterprise customers were apparently interested in the BlackBerry device but only willing to pay $400 for a smartphone. This could be read as a clue for the potential cost of the upcoming Android handsets. Chen revealed very little about the two, only stating that one will be a full-blown touchscreen device while the other sports a physical keyboard.

Also See: BlackBerry Priv gets a price cut, to receive Marshmallow soon

BlackBerry built its reputation on its advanced security capabilities, something which Chen believes still appeals to business-focused consumers who want a secure Android experience. The brand is apparently not planning to launch any BB10-running phones this year, a wise move after apps like Facebook and WhatsApp had dropped its support for the OS.

Chen claims that BlackBerry has managed to turn things around slightly, with losses halving compared to what they were during the previous quarter. However, it will exit the handset making business if it doesn’t achieve profitability. It’ll then be able to focus on its software services division, which is expected to grow by 30% over the course of the next 12 months.