After a long time waiting, BlackBerry’s new phone – the Priv finally rolled out on Friday. Dealing with a lot of difficulties, will Priv become BlackBerry’s savior or its last new phone ?
It is undeniable that BlackBerry has struggled a lot to survive in the past few years. Started as one of the most popular world mobile phone makers in the past, it doesn’t even hold 1% of the world-wide market now. The Canadian handset business lost its status as well as a huge amount of money. According to reports, the stock of BlackBerry has decreased nearly 90% in the past five years and more than 25% so far in 2015. Besides, subscribers and sale went down dramatically because it didn’t fully transfer itself to the touchscreen, app-centric world as customer’s demand.
In contrast, BlackBerry’s rivals are increasingly developing year after year. Obviously, Apple and the array of smart phone manufactures with devices runing on Google’s Android mobile operating system have dominated global market . Microsoft, basing on Windows Phone OS, also overcomes BlackBerry.
After many years of disappointments, recently, BlackBerry has returned to hit the world by a surprise: making a phone that runs on another operating system. That’s BlackBerry Priv – an Android phone.
BlackBerry may stop making phones if BlackBerry Priv sale can’t reach 5 million a year
Under a lot of pressure to become a desired phone for consumers, BlackBerry Priv is now considered as the last hope for Canadian handset maker to survive in the harshly competitive smartphone market.
In several interviews last month, CEO John Chen revealed that BlackBerry may stop making phones if its sale can’t reach 5 million a year – the essential number for the hardware business to be profitable.
To reach that aim, BlackBerry introduced outstanding features of Priv related to security and privacy issues. Obviously, the spotlight on latest Priv still is a slide-out keyboard with actual buttons for the CrackBerry addicts as well as a full-day battery life. Customers also have touchscreen option. As a smartphone runs on Android, Priv will get many more apps than a typical BlackBerry one.
Especially, popular apps like Uber, Instagram and Spotify now are available on Android devices along with the company’s own BBM messaging service.
However, reviews have been mixed so far. Though some reviews are qualified raves, many of them are harsh and negative. Priv is considered “probably the best-looking BlackBerry device that has ever been made” but its expensive price of 699.99 may shock a lot of users.
The phone’s “awesome” keyboard received positive comments from Wired. It’s a great phone to enjoy a hardware keyboard with a legitimate app ecosystem.” However, the slider keyboard also surprisingly received some harsh comments, too. While long battery life and some of the apps on Priv are favored, reviewers noticed that the laggy, buggy software’s are the weaknesses of this Android mobile.
After releasing Priv, shares of BlackBerry gained 5.5% Friday and rose above $8 for the first time since late July. However, to become the savior of BlackBerry the Priv must be a massive hit. Otherwise, it may wind up being the last new BlackBerry. 1.3 million smart phones were sold out in its fiscal first quarter. In the second one, the number decreased to 800,000. Thus, to meet Chen’s 5 million sales goal and continue smart phone production, BlackBerry has to sell 2.9 million phones in its next two quarters.
It claimed that company still “committed” to its own BlackBerry 10 platform and promised an update next year to improve security and privacy. But the company would not reply on whether BlackBerry planned to make any new product runing on BB10 next year.
In the worst situation when the Priv is unsuccessful, BlackBerry‘s future will not get gray as some predictions. The company would surely develop its transference towards selling software for other smartphones as well as other kinds of connected gadgets — the so-called Internet of Things. Surely, it would be sad if BlackBerry stopped making its own phones. And except the Priv’s sale is optimistic, that day may be coming soon.