BlackBerry has been stumbling around the smartphone market for a couple of profitable years. After the lacklustre BB 10 series failed to garner many customers, the Canadian firmed tried again with an Android-based solution. After that release, the Priv, has arguably failed to gain traction, the firm is hoping to appeal to a more mainstream audience. According to the latest earnings call, BlackBerry will launch two $400ish smartphones within the year.
Unlike the Priv that cost a stately $700, the new phones will be targeted more towards consumers instead of the enterprise. While that Priv hasn’t sold that badly, sales haven’t been enough to make a profit. With a $400 phone, BlackBerry may still be able to keep the same margins, but significantly increase sales and drive revenue. If the new phone doesn’t pan out, CEO John Chen is considering selling the handset division.
BlackBerry faced an uphill struggle with BB10 but with Android, they won’t have to worry as much about the software side of things. While the Priv wasn’t bad hardware, it wasn’t up to the level you would expect of a $700 device. Hopefully with the upcoming phones, BlackBerry can get it right. After all, there are many well selling and very nice $400 Android phones like the Motorola lineup or the Nexus 5/5X.