As we have entered 2016, the world of technology is giving new surprises every day. In the latest interview at CES in Las Vegas, John Chen, CEO of Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has confirmed that they will launch one new model in 2016 which will run on Android OS, and possibly a second model using similar platform later In the year.
Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has signed an exclusive deal with AT&T for 60 days to sell Blackberry Priv. Other carriers like Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile will start selling the model after completion of 60 day period.
For those who are diehard fans of Blackberry OS, it is a heartbreaking news. Though the fan following is decreasing every year but there is a section of people who are very loyal to the company. Reports are suggesting that Blackberry will exist in future but may not come with a new phone running on Blackberry’s own OS. Android users will find this news exciting as they will get another choice then the usual mix of Samsung, HTC and LG.
Chen did not comment on the timeline or features of the upcoming phone at the moment. As the two-month timeline is coming to an end, according to Chen it is “so far, so good”. He is staying optimistic about the sales.
In an interesting quote, he compared sales of mobile phones to movie tickets. He said mobile phones, especially when sold with selected carriers take time to attract interest. As the time passes, the real result of pass or fail follows. Chen mentioned that the reason behind selecting only a limited number of carriers to sell Priv was the limited recourses available with the company. He can not afford to increase production.
Over the next few quarters, Priv will be available in 31 countries. The phone is priced at $699 which is expected to come down eventually.
Chen also said that he has high hopes that Priv will repair the brand image and will make it possible for the company to launch another phone running on their own OS Blackberry 10.
It is very important for the company to have 2016 as a profitable year as it is going to be a make-or-break year for the phone business. If the company continues to stay in the loss, Chen may have to dump the business.
The fans of Blackberry 10 need to have little patience this year. The company will try to get National Security clearance for Blackberry 10 so that they can work on certain government and corporate projects. The company will continue to provide support for Blackberry Classic and other older devices but it is not going to invest on new hardware in near future.