BlackBerry CEO promises two cheaper smartphones coming later this year

by Jacob Kleinman | April 9, 2016

The BlackBerry Priv is a solid Android device, but it still wasn’t able to turn things around for the struggling phone maker. Now, the Canadian company has a new plan to refocus on the mid-range market in 2016.

“The fact that we came out with a high-end phone was probably not as wise as it should have been,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen told The National in a recent interview. He added that many enterprise customers confirmed they’d be more interested in a $400 handset rather than the $700 Priv.

On that note, BlackBerry is prepping two new smartphones to launch in 2016. According to Chen, one will sport a traditional QWERTY keyboard, while the second will be an all-touch device. Both will presumably cost a lot less than the Priv.

That means we’ll get at least one more year of new BlackBerry smartphones, but if the company still can’t find success it may be time to give up. “If I can’t make it profitable because the market won’t let me, then I’ll get out of the handset business,” Chen said.

BlackBerry’s CEO also argued that the company still has a strong base with the enterprise market. It’s also capable of offering a secure version of Google’s Android software, but even that may not be enough to win back old customers who’ve already abandoned the brand.

The National Droid-Life


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...