CONTAIN YOUR EXCITEMENT, BlackBerry fans. The company has confirmed that it will launch two mid-range Android devices this year, having thrown in the towel on its own BlackBerry 10 (BB10) software.
It's fair to say that the BlackBerry Priv hasn't exactly set the world alight, and the company refused to say how many it has sold during its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call last week.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen has come out and said that the keyboard-toting smartphone was simply "too expensive", and that the firm will instead focus on the mid-range market this year with the launch of two affordable Android handsets.
"The fact that we came out with a high-end phone [as our first Android device] was probably not as wise as it should have been," Chen said during an interview with The National.
"A lot of enterprise customers have said to us: 'I want to buy your phone but $700 is a little too steep for me. I'm more interested in a $400 device.'"
Chen didn't say much about the duo of incoming smartphones, but confirmed that one will have a keyboard and the other will be fully touchscreen.
BlackBerry has long denied speculation that it's throwing in the towel with the BB10 operating system, but Chen explained during the interview that the company will continue to release updates to the software but won't release new BB10-powered hardware.
What's more, the firm could soon give up on smartphones altogether. Chen admitted that BlackBerry will be forced to exit the hardware business if more money doesn't start to roll in soon.
"Since I started at the company [in November 2013] I’ve been saying I’ll make the handset business profitable. If I can’t make it profitable because the market won’t let me, I’ll get out of the handset business. I love our handset business, but we need to make money," he said. Sob. µ
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