Blackberry To Make Android Smartphone, Most Mobile Retailers Not Interested
According to IDC BlackBerry only managed to sell 2703 devices in the second quarter in Australia with several retail outlets now deranging Blackberry devices.
A quick survey by ChannelNews revealed that most retailers and two carriers would not range a Blackberry Android device unless it offered “something different” than current model Android devices. One Telstra store manager said “We have little if any demand for a current model Blackberry and when we do it is mostly an older customer who is use to the Blackberry keyboard and wants a replacement model” they said.
On Friday Blackberry reported a wider second-quarter loss than analysts estimated as smartphone shipments fell to the lowest since at least 2007.
The new Blackberry which will run Android – has a hidden keyboard. Called Priv, it features a slide out keyboard.
‘Today, I am confirming our plans to launch Priv, an Android device named after BlackBerry’s heritage and core mission of protecting our customers’ privacy,’ Chief Executive Officer John Chen said.
‘Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform.’
‘This phone is the answer for former BlackBerry users who miss the physical keyboard but also need apps,’
The company could jettison its own platform if the Android device gains acceptance with its core base of government and financial industry clients, Chen added.
With PRIV, our commitment is to continue to provide confidence.
Chief Executive Officer John Chen has been working to transform BlackBerry from the shrinking smartphone maker he inherited two years ago into a leading provider of security software for businesses.
Still, with smartphone sales still accounting for about 40 percent of revenue, the company has continued to announce new devices.
Device revenue fell 52 percent to $201 million, as the company shipped the fewest number of smartphones since 2007, according to data gathered by Bloomberg.
Software revenue grew 19 percent to $74 million. Overall revenue, which also includes service fees from older BlackBerry phones still in use, was down 47 percent to $490 million. Chen said in March revenue wouldn’t fall below $500 million during the turnaround.