At first it was only a rumor that was hard for anyone to believe. Finally BlackBerry proved those who doubted it wrong by unveiling a proprietary smartphone that runs the Android operating system, its (and Apple’s) most tough competitor in the market.
The BlackBerry Priv is said to hold the future of BlackBerry, a make or break decision that John Chen has made to date for the company. BlackBerry considers Priv its last resort for bringing the struggling smartphone business back to its feet again following year after year of losses.
As it does, BlackBerry Priv sports a sliding QWERTY keyboard upon which the company depends to revive the ailing business. BlackBerry Priv is scheduled for initial release next month and from there, we will see how the product attracts or loses more users.
BlackBerry Priv also features a 5.4-inch QHD display, 1440×2560 resolution, Snapdragon 810 CPU, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage, NFC and a 3500 mAh battery, 18 MP rear camera, and a 5MP front shooter.
Despite Chen’s efforts in the past year to restore the business, almost all attempts at recovery seemed to have turned out fruitless. Except for the BlackBerry Passport, which somehow regained a bit of its market share, though it did not bolster the user base of BlackBerry.
To turn the tide of events, BlackBerry may have made a desperate move in desperate times by entering into an agreement with Google to slap the new BlackBerry smartphone with Android.
It has yet to be seen what kind of reception existing Android users and BlackBerry fans will give to the integration of Android into BlackBerry, what with the security concerns surrounding Google’s mobile operating system. BlackBerry’s core focus has been on security, so with the addition of Android to its environment, some may argue about the sustainability of that tradition.
BlackBerry Priv will be initially released in the United Kingdom through Carphone Warehouse, and UK residents may sign up for the product. There is no confirmation yet from Google or BlackBerry what version of Android will be used for Priv, but some suspect it could be Android 5.1 Lollipop while others point to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, making BlackBerry Priv the first non Nexus device to run the new Android version.
The two companies did not confirm yet whether Google authorized BlackBerry to use the latest version of Android, but sources privy to the matter said it is already a done deal in a move to expand Android’s scope and help BlackBerry gain more users. So it is a win-win initiative.