Android-based BlackBerry Priv now official, will arrive this year

After months of numerous leaks, the Android-based BlackBerry Priv has finally been officially confirmed by the manufacturer and will be released before the year is out. The news comes via the company’s second quarter earnings results, which saw the brand’s revenue fall by half of what it was last year.

The BlackBerry Priv will combine Android software with the manufacturer’s signature security and productivity offerings for its enterprise customers. The brand is planning to announce more details about its flagship slider device in the coming weeks. For now, all we know is that the phone is set to be sold in major markets late in the year through online and offline stores.

The company is also planning to roll out an update for its BlackBerry 10 operating system. Version 10.3.3 of the software will be released by March 2016. Again, there’s no mention on what we can expect from the upgraded platform, except that the improvements will focus on security and privacy enhancements.

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BlackBerry is hoping to bring in modest sequential revenue growth in the 2016 fiscal with these new initiatives. It desperately needs to, as it earned only $490 million in the quarter ending in August. The figure is roughly half of the $916 million it was generating at the same point last year. The company’s larger-than-expected loss of $207 million has resulted in its stocks tumbling down.

A neat summary of the rumored specs of the BlackBerry Priv:

– Display: 5.4-inch, 1440 x 2560 pixels
– CPU: 64-bit 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 810
– OS: Android (version unknown)
– RAM: 3GB
– Camera: 18MP rear, 5 MP front

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Going back to the BlackBerry Priv, speculations suggest that it could have a dual-curved 5.4-inch Quad HD display. The device may house an 18MP primary camera with dual-LED flash, OIS and fast focus. It might run on a Snapdragon 810 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. We’ll keep you posted when the price and specs of the device are announced in the coming weeks.