Update 16/10/2015: You can now Pre-order through Carphone Warehouse. It will be released in the UK on November 9th. It’s not at the budget end of the spectrum, though, with a price tag of £559.99 without a contract.
Back in August, we reported that BlackBerry were developing an Android handset, The BlackBerry Venice. There’d been whispers for a while of a BlackBerry device running android, but the silence from BlackBerry left us all wondering whether it would ever happen.
But suddenly the rumour mill sparked into life again. In early September, it was announced that BlackBerry had purchased Good Technology for roughly £280m. Good are experts in cross-platform enterprise mobility management. Now if you put that into a bit of context – BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that “If I can find a way to secure the Android phone, I will also build that” – it was almost a confirmation that something was being worked on behind the scenes.
BlackBerry Priv Announced
As part of a report on their Q2 results, BlackBerry confirmed they will release a new device running the Android operating system. The handset will be named the ‘Priv’ – and BlackBerry’s CEO has stated the phone will support Android for Work on BES12. It’s expected the new device will arrive in late 2015, with an official announcement shortly.
BlackBerry Priv Features
With BlackBerry’s brand particularly popular amongst security conscious users, it’s likely a big effort will be made to ensure that this isn’t compromised by the shift to Android, so you can expect plenty of features beyond the realms of stock android functionality.
This is no stock Android handset… pic.twitter.com/3RgBQHsCng
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 21, 2015
As we reported, rumors indicate the most notable BlackBerry Priv features are that it’ll have a Galaxy-esque Edge-like screen with a slide out keyboard and an impressive 18 megapixel camera.
For BlackBerry, there’s now a question mark over whether they can attract Android users with their additional security features, or whether even more users fade away into the already saturated android market.
For existing BlackBerry users, it’s worth noting perhaps that they will continue to support and develop their own operating system, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be available in March 2016.
Our customers will have first-hand availability of the BlackBerry Priv. For more information you can contact us or call on 0208 232 1190. Feel free to see further details on our website for more info on our Business Mobile Solutions and IT Services.