This Android based smartphone may very well be the company’s last attempt at this type of device.
The BlackBerry Priv, the latest device from the struggling Canadian company and the first that is based on Google’s Android operating system, has now been on the market for its first weekend and the question has now been raised as to whether or not consumers have responded well and what it will mean for the future of the company.
CEO of the handset maker, John Chen, has suggested that this may be a defining product for the company.
Chen has previously indicated that whether or not the company will continue to make handsets may depend on whether or not the BlackBerry Priv ends up being successful. That said, by the time of the writing of this article, the company had not yet released its numbers with regards to the sales that it experienced during its first launch weekend. This device also represents the first time in years that the company has turned its attention to reaching out to mainstream audiences once again, instead of smaller niche markets.
The most notable difference in the BlackBerry Priv has to do with the Android operating system powering it.
Until now, the company has always used its own BlackBerry operating system. However, it is hopeful that by changing to the Android OS, it will become considerably more appealing to consumers who value a very large number of mobile app options for their devices.
John Chen has stated that it is vital that the hardware division at BlackBerry become profitable before the close of the current fiscal year, which will occur on February 29, 2016. If that does not happen, it is very likely that the company will choose not to continue to make smartphones and will redirect its attention to focus on its security software development.
Chen’s calculations state that in order to meet its goals to continue in hardware, the company would need to sell five million phones throughout the current fiscal year. That would be the break-even point. Considering that the company has already reached the halfway point in that time and it still needs to sell three million devices to reach that goal, it is clear that the future of that part of the company is highly dependent on the success of the BlackBerry Priv.