BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has confirmed that it will soon launch two new smartphones that will run on Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Android OS. The company claims that the devices will have a better price tag compared to the Priv.
Blackberry launched the Priv towards the end of 2015 as its flagship smartphone but sales for the device did not do so well. The firm has not been doing well on the overall sales including its other devices. The company reported that it sold 3.2 million handsets in 2015. It managed to sell only 600,000 units in the fourth quarter of the same fiscal year, thus registering a drop from the 1.3 million handsets that it sold in the fourth quarter of the previous year.
The company announced that it will launch two new handsets later this year, and they will both run on Android OS. Blackberry claims that the Priv did not sell as well as expected because it was steeply priced. The Canadian firm stated that the two handsets will feature a fairer price tag between $300 and $400. The firm’s CEO, John Chen revealed that one of the devices will feature a physical QWERTY keypad while the one will have a full-touch display.
Mr. Chen also stated that the decision to launch the two devices was highly influenced by the fact that the Priv did not do so well in terms of sales. Chen had previously pointed out that launching a high-end device was not the wisest decision, and many enterprise customers have commented about the pricing, stating that they prefer a more affordable price. The CEO also states that the company will have to exit from the handset business if it fails to make money out of it.
The CEO also stated that the move with Android OS was good for the customers because they were able to secure the OS through Blackberry’s security features. This feature is expected to attract more people to buy the company’s handsets. Neil Shah from Counterpoint Research stated that the Blackberry brand is still strong, and its QWERTY keyboard is still attractive in the device market.