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BlackBerry CEO teases a cheaper Priv for 2016

by Jacob Kleinman | December 22, 2015December 22, 2015 2:00 pm PDT

The BlackBerry Priv is a great device. It even made it onto our list of the top five phones of 2015.  We can’t wait to see what the company does next, and BlackBerry CEO John Chen provided a hint toward what that might be in a recent interview.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Chen said the company is still weighing its options for 2016. However, if the Priv is a success, we’ll likely see a follow-up device next year, and it may not be quite as expensive. “We will probably still focus very much on the high-end, maybe a little more mid-range or so,” he said, noting that, if there’s a positive response to Android on BlackBerry – and there seems to be so far – BlackBerry will “probably have another phone like that coming out in [calendar 2016].” That may fit the description of the rumored BlackBerry Vienna, which first appeared last month.

Chen also said he cares more about profit margins than the volume of phones sold, suggesting the company won’t be dropping its prices significantly any time soon. In the meantime, BlackBerry is bringing the current Priv to 31 more countries within the next three months.

The interview also touches on BlackBerry’s plans for the auto-industry, specifically the QNX software that powers the infotainment systems of 60 million vehicles. Chen says he’s interested in autonomous vehicles, and notes that the company is already working with Google in few different areas. “It’s natural for us to step into the next generation of automobiles,” he said.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...