BlackBerry sold under 50,000 Priv units, Play Store data suggests

by: Matthew BensonDecember 22, 2015
1.3K

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Late last week, BlackBerry CEO John Chen shared some very optimistic guidance about his company’s future. Despite device sales being around 200,000 units lower than expected (700,000 as opposed to 900,000), the OEM managed to severely reduce losses incurred during the quarter, ultimately sending the stock price up. Much discussion was made about that number however: 700,000. Was it Priv sales, or was it company-wide total device sales? Indeed the latter was correct.

The question thus on everyone’s minds is how much of a success is the Priv? Mr. Chen did not mention any specific numbers, just that the development costs are lower than with traditional BlackBerry OS handsets, and that the price will inevitably fall around Mobile World Congress this coming winter. And yet, ironically enough it would seem that the sales data is right in front of our collective faces: the Google Play Store.

As the Play Store lists an approximated number of installs for every app, it is simply a matter of checking various BlackBerry-related ones to find the results. Note that, on a smartphone, these apps will only appear on search if you have a Priv.

PRIV1

As can be seen above, the Install count is listed as “Over 10,000”. The same holds true for the other apps as well:

On a PC you can find them simply by searching the Google Play Store website, however there will be a note about a lack of device compatibility. Nonetheless, the full browser Play Store lists the number of installs as between 10,000 and 50,000.

Play it by the numbers

Because the Priv apps can only be installed on the Priv itself, this offers a very good indication of the kind of sales numbers BlackBerry has achieved. At worst, there are possibly 10,001 sold, and at most, there are possibly 50,000. For the sake of argument, there is the possibility that the statistics on the Play Store are not accurate. Even assuming that installs are double that which is reported, that would still give a range between 20,002 and 100,000 units.

It is difficult to make heads or tails of this presumed purchase point. Considering that BlackBerry sold approximately 700,000 total handsets in Q3, it would mean the Priv was not a major seller. Granted it was only available for 2 weeks before the end of Q3, but many devices typically see the highest sales in the initial release window.

It is also important to mention that the Priv is only available in select markets, with dozens more coming in the future. In the USA specifically, it is only sold on AT&T’s network.

Pricey Privilege: Too much for too long? Not so, it seems.

Last month, an in-depth look was offered at the pricing structure of the BlackBerry Priv. The piece considered the issue of a justification for the high cost, and asked if that might ultimately result in diminished sales. When Mr.Chen disclosed Q3 fiscal performance last Friday, he made a curious point:

 Mr. Chen explained that in switching to Android, a cost-savings break has been added to the equation of Priv production, “because we don’t have to do everything ourselves in the operating system world.”

This roughly translates to a product that cost less to produce than it otherwise would have had it been running a new BlackBerry OS build. Furthermore, the display on the device – while AMOLED – is decidedly not of the same quality and clarity as those used in Samsung’s 2015 flagships. In an interview with Bloomberg, Chen disclosed the fact that Samsung is producing the panels. Clearly the display parts purchased were not as premium as it could be, though it could be a result of either party’s initiative.

Interestingly enough it seems that BlackBerry itself knows the Priv is perhaps too expensive. In the earnings call last week, the following exchange took place:

Paul Treiber – RBC Capital Markets

In regards to the pricing and margins on the PRIV, without getting into specifics, how do you see pricing and margins in the PRIV trending through its life cycle? What are some of the strategies to sustain the pricing power through its life cycle? And then can you just contrast that versus what you’ve seen with other BlackBerry 10 devices?

John Chen – Executive Chairman & CEO

Good question. So we have a model obviously, of pricing. I think the pricing will hold pretty strong for the next quarter in Q4. We already have seen some of the POs coming in. Especially in new introductions, margin is usually pretty strong. But I’m not — but you all know the market very well.

In about Mobile World Congress time, we will see introduction of new technology from our competitors. We have maybe a midlife kicker coming in around that time, but I expect ourselves to have to reduce our price to be competitive.

We do have some unique features at PRIV, as being well-received especially in the security world, in the privacy world. But we obviously won’t fool ourselves to expect that they will continue to maintain the high prices that we could get today. So we have our natural trend and a model that goes through 12 months out and then after 12 months, we’re going to have to reexamine that.

It is in this exchange that CEO John Chen has basically admitted that the price of the Priv will need to decrease come Mobile World Congress in February. Ironically speaking, many of the features of the Priv are already classified as “mid-tier” by some: the phone has a Snapdragon 808 SoC as opposed to an 810. The phone has 3GB or RAM as opposed to 4GB. The phone does not appear to have the latest generation AMOLED display. The casing of the phone is made of plastic, not metal or glass.

If the price will begin to fall in February – assuming retailers don’t drop it first – the profit margin for each device sold will thereby also decrease. In the event BlackBerry can then start to sell mass numbers of the handset, it would ultimately result in a positive financial gain. On the other hand, if the price drop is such that the profit margin becomes too small or non-existent entirely, it wouldn’t make much of a difference with respect to the bottom like.

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Notes on the numbers

The point has been raised that Play Store download/install numbers do not count pre-installed apps. This is a valid argument and one that was actually explained back in 2013. Even so, as mentioned earlier these BlackBerry apps can only be installed on a Priv. If the tally will increase the first time someone with a Priv downloads an app update, it still implies the total number of handsets sold is quite low. Also consider:

  1. As mentioned in this piece, the Priv was only available for 2 weeks prior to the end of BlackBerry’s Q3 fiscal period. Additionally it was only sold in a few markets with even further limited availability at that.
  2. Reports indicated that the Priv was sold out initially at some venues and thus potential sales would possibly be affected.
  3. The 700,000 units sold report does not correspond to the Priv exclusively. Consider, as mentioned earlier, that in Q2 BlackBerry sold 800,000 devicesnone of which were the Priv. The company has its entire range of existing BB OS products – including the Passport – that would contribute to its sales.
  4. The tallies on the Play Store are consistent across the board for Priv-exclusive apps. It’s not as if one app has 10,000-50,000 and another has 100,000-500,000. The only time such a difference does occur is on apps that are not exclusive to the Priv, such as “BBES12 Client” which is listed as 5,000,000-10,000,000 downloads and is basically compatible with virtually every phone on the market.
  5. Consider that early adopters of the Priv are theoretically more likely to be familiar with technology and keeping up-to-date with it, thus are more likely to update their apps than random mainstream users who purchase a device for free long after it has been released.

Thus while it is fair to point out the Play Store app data itself may not be perfectly reflective of the exact number of devices sold, based on a variety of factors, a handful of which are listed above, it is logical to extrapolate the figures provided do paint a plausible picture of the product’s performance.

Wrap Up

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Truth be told, with BlackBerry itself choosing the conceal the actual sales figures of the Priv, the best approximation that can be made is from the Google Play Store installation tallies. As they are not particularly high, it would suggest that the Priv is not a smash success that it presumably needs to become.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this possible sales situation! Would even 50,000 units sold be considerably a success for BlackBerry at it enters the Android market this late?

  • Brandon Cruz

    Looking forward to the price drop as this is top choice to replace my aging Xperia Z3. Can’t justify spending $700+ on this when I can get a Galaxy S6 for $200-300 less.

    • skroder

      Aging? The Z3 is just a year old.

      • Avieshek Rajkhowa

        Accelerated process.

      • Kanoosh

        in phone years that is about 5 years old.. so yea, definitely aging ;)

        • Keith Thompson

          No its not
          Ussual contract lasts for 2 years so you could theoretically still be relevant for 1 more year.

          I think you are just impatient

        • Btort

          true, but this phone will age ever more than the z3 in 6 months.

          • Kanoosh

            6 months? that’s giving it too much credit lol.. it’s already aged.

          • Btort

            with the 808 yeah….I also heard the software is stock like but with lag….that doesn’t make sense. It LOOKS like stock android but lags? what difference does it make it compared to laggy touchwiz if that’s the case?

          • JohnOne

            The software is very good right now I have no lag on my phone and it’s very stable and with each update I love this phone more and more

          • GregKorman

            808 is actually faster than the 810 in real-world use since the 810 is rarely able to sustain top clock speed due to thermal throttling.

          • Btort

            have you used phones that used the 808 and 810? probably not. I had had the G4, moto x pure and nexus 5x within the same month (thanks to amazons lovely return policy) and I experienced lag in those phones, even on a nexus device and near stock moto android skin. Had the nexus 6p and rarely lagged or stuttered. The lag and stutter is not that noticeable to the average person but someone who goes through a lot of phones notices.

      • Brandon Cruz

        As mentioned by others, a year is a long time when it comes to cell phones. The Z3’s a great phone (probably my favorite as far as smartphones so far), but it’s definitely showing its age (my example in particular).

    • onstrike112

      How’s the physical keyboard on that Galaxy S6?

      • Jose Alberto

        No need to waste space and weight on such thing.

        • onstrike112

          For you.

          • Jose Alberto

            For everyone my friend.

          • onstrike112

            No. Go get your head examined. What works for you, won’t for everyone elese kiddo. The adults need a real phone. Not a toy.

          • Jose Alberto

            Im sorry sir didn’t noticed your huge experience in the mobile sector, and those real phones are relegated to a niche market of users believing they are on the 2000s, physical keyboard have its advantages if you write an essay, memo, long texts, but in an smartphone? you do such things there? an laptop would be better for that, virtual keyboards are more convenient for writing short texts, and they have become better and better, and you not need to waste space, when you end writing that space can display info etc. Everyone have its needs, and i think Apple, Ssmsung, Motorola, Nokia etc, are in their positions just to make toys, and blackberry making real phones with his <1% of market share.

          • Keith Thompson

            Like what he said. Us adults want keyboards. Accuracy of the qwerty is pretty much unbeatable.

          • onstrike112

            Given your awful spelling, go clean your room and go to bed, kiddo.

          • Jose Alberto

            HAHAHA its fun, and yes english its not my mother language, These gentlemen with their incredible CEO attitude, only rather use obsolete technology, only to send whatsapp, too bad the 99% of smartphone users are a bunch of kids, its too late for the eldery to be wake up sir i think you need to go to bed as well. Ps. Blackberry have given up BBOS10 a great os by the way, maybe the phisical keyboards in a few years will do the same, if hardware division of blackberry survive to that time.

          • Anil Budha

            Jose Alberto ..90% of the smartphone users are kids.. and even if you don’t like the physical keyboard, you have to give Blackberry credit for what its doing. The physical keyboard is there for its loyal customer base.. and believe me there are lots of them.. however, to get the kids using blackberry, the physical keyboard will not do the trick, this is why they are coming out with other devices that will attract other users. This is a smart sales approach as its not alienating its loyal customer base.. I am an old man myself, and I have been using the Z10 for several years now (mind you I have an iPhone as well), but I have always prefer the Z10 to the iPhone.. and the addition of the physical keyboard on an Android device.. I am going back to blackberry 100% now..

          • Peter Pan

            ah thats why no smartphone got a physical keyboard and the priv sold under 50k :>

          • Keith Thompson

            Not even fully released yet, but nice try.

      • paxmos

        You are definitely a BB fan. Who needs a physical keyboard nowadays?..I haven’t seen one in years!!!!

        • onstrike112

          Who needs one? I use one DAILY. What part of that doesn’t your small brain process?

          • paxmos

            Then, that would be you and you only. I haven’t seen a BB user in a long time. I guess 700k sales of BB in a quarter doesn’t put a BB device in everyone’s hand you know. What part of that doesn’t your small brain process?

          • onstrike112

            That’s a symptom of a bigger problem. But the point is, that you won’t try another device other than what Google, Samsung, LG, etc tell you to, so I’m done trying. You’re not worth it. Too stupid.

          • paxmos

            I did get one, had it for 3 days and returned it. Didn’t care for the keyboard, the screen was not anything to brag about and the damn thing ran hot most of the times. I did like the phone’s dimension and the BB Hub is awesome. Learn in life to accept others’ opinions. If you don’t like them, it’s your problem and don’t call others stupid…I can do the same thing!! ..btw, I don’t have any of the phones that you have mentioned and no one tells me what to buy.

          • onstrike112

            I don’t have to accept anyone’s opinions besides my own. You can have yours, and that’s fine, even if I think it’s a stupid opinion.

          • paxmos

            Not only you are ignorant, you don’t have to try very hard to show that you are stupid….YOU are stupid

          • onstrike112

            Look who’s talking, idiot.

        • Mr_Meee

          There’s one on my laptop. It’s quite a convenient feature. I like it actually. I wouldn’t be happy if they removed it.

          • ekerazha

            The one on your laptop has an advantage… you don’t press 4 keys while trying to press 1 key.

          • Mr_Meee

            Ah yes, typing on a smartphone is a challenge like that. Always the keys are small unless it’s a phablet or something :-)

          • ekerazha

            That’s why touch keyboards are predictive.

          • Mr_Meee

            You know both the Priv(iledge)’s keyboards are predictive and touch enabled right?

          • ekerazha

            And that’s why a microscopic physical keyboard is useless.

          • Mr_Meee

            Any microscopic keyboard right? touch and virtual.

          • ekerazha

            Simply, there’s no need for a microscopic predictive physical keyboard when you have a microscopic predictive virtual keyboard.

          • Mr_Meee

            Could you get a full screen view when you use the slide out keyboard instead of the virtual one?

          • ekerazha

            If that is your point, then a landscape keyboard would be better, since you don’t see anything in landscape mode.

          • paxmos

            Oh my, didn’t know laptops had keyboards!!

          • Mr_Meee

            Hee hee hee :)

      • Brandon Cruz

        Definitely a downside, but for $200-300 less and a pretty similar/solid experience otherwise…

        • onstrike112

          Unless you count Touch-Wiz, which somehow slows down the most powerful SOC used in phones to date. Add that to the lack of a good physical keyboard or even good virtual keyboard, you definitely get what you pay for.

          • Brandon Cruz

            As someone who swaps out the stock launcher and keyboard with preferred third-party options (beauty of Android), it isn’t an issue for me. While the physical keyboard is nice (and be would be preferable), it’s not worth the price premium for me when I’ve become accustomed to virtual keyboards and can work with one as quickly as I could with a physical qwerty a few years back.

            Regardless, I’ve found the TouchWiz experience to be about as solid as most other smartphone experiences (based on a Galaxy Note II I used to have and using friends’ various Galaxy devices). It’s definitely not to everyone’s tastes, but that’s why there are options to suit the needs of different users.

          • onstrike112

            Says you. Lol

          • Brandon Cruz

            Exactly – everything I’ve said has been my opinion (as has what you’ve said). In the end, it’s all about what works for you and the Blackberry isn’t the right choice for me at it’s current price when an S6 (or other device) will do what I need for less.

          • onstrike112

            Okay, fair enough.

    • Yes, it does… it count!!

      Galaxy S6 with 14nm CPU is a better phone than this 20nm CPU phone.
      The S6 is not as hot as this Priv
      The S6 have a better camera

      • Brandon Cruz

        I’d say both probably perform well/similarly as far as a top tier smartphone of this generation should. For me, I’d prefer the Priv for its physical keyboard and expandable storage – just not at the price premium Blackberry’s asking when the newer generation smartphones are just around the corner.

      • Jimbo

        Man, what kind of idiot bases a purchase choice on the number of nanometers between shit instead of actual performance and features?

  • Shriram Tkl

    Only a fool will spend this much for this device when i can get an Android beast for nearly half of this price. Mind you the Nexus 6 beast of ,64 GB has dropped its price to a ridiculous price tag of 260,$… Why should i pay such a premium to BB priv? Makes no sense at all.

    • Svnjay

      How’s the expandable storage on that Nexus 6?

    • onstrike112

      How is the physical keyboard on that dumb Nexus? Oh wait….

      • 29

        I guess by the end of your sentence you realised we’re in 2015

        • onstrike112

          No, I realized how stupid you are to the point you actually think virtual keyboards are anything near adequate.

          • Kanoosh

            awe, look guys, he’s trying to defend BB ..it’s ok little one, no need to be angry.

          • onstrike112

            You’re too stupid to understand how much better a physical keyboard is. Go back to bed, kiddo. The adults need a productive phone.

          • dannyR

            Sure, a phone that best displays the latest Star Wars movies. The Priv’s up there with the best of them, alrighty. Plus, it has a… keyboard.

          • onstrike112

            Who cares about Star Wars now? It’s not even Star Wars anymore. That’s a different argument altogether. My point is that people have a vendetta against BlackBerry for idiotic 2008 reasons. Get out of ’08.

          • dannyR

            Just exactly what else is the best pixel-count good for than HD movies? If you’re reading spreadsheets, hey, even a BlackBerry has tactile zoom. Like, it isn’t 2008 anymore.

          • onstrike112

            Who cares? You have a TV.
            So more than 1080P isn’t good enough for your snobby idiocy on your phone? Ha! You probably couldn’t tell the difference between 1440P and 4K on a phone anyways. I can’t, I’ve tried.

          • Airyl

            1080p is fine, it’s just not too good a panel. Especially for the price.

          • onstrike112

            I found the panel to be pretty great. It’s Corning glass, which is the standard here.

          • dannyR

            Then you’re undercutting the point of BB offering a best-display enterprise phone. You guys have to make up your mind(s)

          • onstrike112

            4K is pointless, and you know it. Get off your snobby high horse.

          • Airyl

            Yeah, I kind of agree here.

          • dannyR

            I also agree. There is no high-horse to get off of.

          • dannyR

            Display is not my argument. It’s one of the consistent, and correct, claims about the Priv. How does it matter for an enterprise phone?

          • onstrike112

            The fact is that it is an enterprise phone first and foremost. You need to try before you judge it.

          • Airyl

            You sound exactly like a child. The physical keyboard on the BlackBerry is definitely good, but by this point there are so many virtual keyboards that just work better for too many people. The Priv is just an average device with an overoptimistic price tag.

            And you talk of productivity? Get a laptop. The only thing you’ll be producing with the Priv is an email. The only advantage it has is a keyboard for crying out loud, that’s not exactly something to be proud of.

          • onstrike112

            That’s why the Priv has both. The best virtual keyboard out there, and the best physical one. If you haven’t used a Priv, you can’t judge it, and I’m sure you haven’t. Go to an AT&T store and actually put your hands on the thing. Try the slider. It’s sweet. While I haven’t bought one yet, I’m going to. Why are we arguing when we’re all a part of the same fold? We’re all going to be a part of Android. I’m going from a BlackBerry 10 Passport to a Priv.

          • dannyR

            That’s the ‘have you read the Koran?’ argument. I haven’t read the Koran. Haven’t read the book of Mormon, either. Haven’t tried the latest HTC phone. Life is short, and the upscale-site reviews have given me no reason to try any BB device at this point.

          • onstrike112

            That’s because of their personal vendetta against it. Go try it yourself.

          • dannyR

            I don’t have any vendetta against the latest HTC phone. I just don’t have the time.

          • onstrike112

            Then why slander the BlackBerry?

          • Airyl

            I’ve already used the Priv, for a full week actually. The thing isn’t bad, and my time with it was enjoyable, but that was about it. I never felt like the Priv was something special, nor did I ever feel that it provided anything that I would miss too much going to another device.

            Yes, the keyboard is great, but it never made me say “Wow, I never want to use something else ever again!”. Consider this for a minute. The Nexus 5X, for all intents and purposes, has almost the exact same specs, yet costs half the price of the Priv. With that remaining money, you could get yourself a good bluetooth keyboard and do basically the exact same thing the Priv does. You can even download the BB virtual keyboard online now, which makes basically makes it a moot point.

            My point is simply that for now, the Priv is not worth it unless you’re a really hardcore Blackberry fan. In fact, I actually preferred the Passport over the Priv, simply because it’s a more interesting phone to use. If you’re hard pressed to get the Priv, at least wait until MWC where the price might be a bit more reasonable.

          • onstrike112

            I guess I just feel like the two keyboards are worth the price premium. I like my Passport’s keyboard, but miss my Leap’s keyboard too. So the Priv is the perfect phone for me. I guess I shouldn’t have judged you too quick, so I apologize. To each their own.

          • Airyl

            Yeah. Hope you have a nice day.

          • Karly Johnston

            The Mi4c has the same specs and is a third the price.

          • Kem

            But will it receive monthly updates like Blackberry and will it get the Marshmallow update?

          • Karly Johnston

            It gets weekly updates and will get Marshmallow.

          • Kem

            That makes sense since it was released recently but conventional wisdom says that phone will be obsolete in a year, I know some of their phones are stuck on KitKat. There are people on BB 7 who still receive updates and that is from 2009. Not sure if you are in the U.S. but you are not even getting LTE and who do you go to if you have issues with the phone, China? To some people having a place to go to if there are issues with the phone and software support beyond a year are important and they are willing to spend a little extra for those phones.

          • Karly Johnston

            The phone has a one year warranty through the reseller and a 45 day return policy which is 30 days more than the carriers. The last product I had to RMA through them, they sent me a new one. I already have Marshmallow on it as it has good dev support. A Windows 10 port is in the works and is already official for the Mi4. The entire lineup of products is getting Marshmallow as per their blog. The SD808 with 3GB RAM isn’t going to be obsolete in a year, it is flagship internals. I get 32mbps for downloads so I am not hurting on network speed. It takes good photos and much quicker than the Priv’s long shutter time. Of course the Priv has some value add, but it isn’t any $500 worth. I can buy 3 Mi4c at the $750 you pay ATT for Priv. Mi4c isn’t the only example, the G4 can be had for $425 and arguably has more value add than the Priv. Moto X Pure 32GB was on sale for $349 last week. All these phones have the same internals as Priv so potential buyers have to question, what makes it worth $700+? It isn’t worth more than $500.

          • Airyl

            The Xiaomi M1 was released in 2011, still gets updates.

          • Mr_Meee

            Can it show you the whole screen the whole time while you are on a chat with friends? Can you expand the memory after you buy it? Can it stop someone rooting it and destroying the privateness of your online life? Is it really the same spec of device?

          • Airyl

            1. Yes, press the back button.
            2. Nah.
            3. Technically, you can do that with any phone.
            4. Yes, except much more affordable.

          • Airyl

            I would mention it, but international availability is still spotty. Love the Mi4C though.

          • Karly Johnston

            Resellers are shipping everywhere.

          • Raj Brar

            Have the Priv. Good upgrade for people who like to type on a physical keyboard (Samsung made a case keyboard and let’s not forget Ryan Seacrest’s iPhone attachment). Yes you can buy another generic slab and even download th BlackBerry virtual keyboard (funny that people want this on their phone) but the package is good good going to better with software updates. They already put out he three updates since launch. If anything, the Nexus 6P feel generic and boring. The visor screams Android Nerd alert. I do like that you can buy a decent Android device for half a price an iPhone but if I am going to buy a device, it should be unquestionably unique. That’s why I never drive a generic car either even if you see a Toyota is cheaper than the BMW

          • Airyl

            That’s what they call a special snowflake.

          • Raj Brar

            Don’t know the term.

          • Raj Brar

            I don’t get it.

        • dannyR

          You guessed wrong. He doesn’t.

    • Yes, it does… it count!!

      You’re talking about crackberry

    • Nextissue2014

      Then, all iPhone users are fools.

  • dannyR

    This is a much-needed improvement over the near disinformational ‘700,000’ articles flying around a couple of days ago.
    And who does BlackBerry think they’re fooling?

    • Frenchman75

      GOOGLE PLAY STORE DOES NOT COUNT UPDATES AS DOWNLOADS!! ALL THESE APPS THIS SO CALLED JOURNALIST ARE TALKING ABOUT ARE PRE-INSTALLED ON THE PRIV AND DO NOT COUNT AS DOWNLOADS! BLACKBERRY SOLD CLOSE TO 200,000 PRIVS IN Q3 IN 23 DAYS IN ONLY 4 COUNTRIES!

      • Yes, it does… it count!!

        It does….
        Update count as download IF that’s the first time you download/update the apps using your google account.

        • Frenchman75

          NO IT DOES NOT! Read my above comments, it’s mathematically IMPOSSIBLE! 150K to 200K PRIVS sold in November alone (just 24 days to be accurate as PRIV Launched November 6 And Q3 ended November 30)!

          • jeehahd

            I think that the troll you a replying to is an iKrap fanboy. Those people don’t have enough intellect to be argued with

          • Frenchman75

            No doubt! Clueless trolls gotta keep on hating without knowing! Same goes for the guy who wrote this Baseless article! Lol

          • dannyR

            Your cast-iron math claim conflicts with Tim Holmes’ [above, newest-ordering] cast-iron math claim. I guess cast-iron is living up to its brittle reputation.

    • Raj Brar

      BlackBerry never said they sold 700,000 Privs. Those who don’t know how to read a press release a earnings did. BlackBerry never provide a break down for device sales. John Chen said 200k Passport orders once and you bet his a$$ was coached. It was a PO for 200k devices. They sold 5,000 classics and 10,000 leaps probably in the last Quarter.

      • dannyR

        That’s why I wrote ‘near’. Many articles are cranking out the 700K Priv nonsense. They sound “…so user-friendly, and smooth”.

        • Raj Brar

          Right and are these Article writers hoping to influence the stock which upload the earnings. If anything, the focus should be their software unit which will double in size every three months. They have many free trials that are expected to translate into subscribers combined with the inorganic growth (by buying new companies). Hardware still makes up 40 percent of their Revenue and they won’t let it go.

  • Biga173rd

    The device is fantastic I got to try it out. BB did a great job on the design and features. But their asking price is killing their sales. They need restructure their strategy because it’s a damn shame this device is not selling.

    • dannyR

      When you add weight, thickness, and price to a device with below-flagship attributes and matched by several mid-range competing phones, you get what the evidence this article is suggesting.

      • onstrike112

        That’s if you are idiotic enough to elect to exclude the obvious addition of a physical keyboard and BlackBerry security & software.

        • dannyR

          Well, a physical keyboard may well have something to do with the thickness and weight of this thing. Of course, everyone wants security that means nothing more than squawking when an app asks for more than it deserves, and doesn’t actually do anything about it.

          • onstrike112

            It’s not that thick or heavy, no more than my Passport.
            The whole point of DTEK is to warn you when your data may be at risk. What are you complaining about? Or are you just that swayed by Samsung, Google, LG, HTC, OnePlus, etc. that you can’t see a good product unless it slaps you in the face…. oh wait, you can’t because the Priv is a good product. It’s what everyone who cried when BlackBerry went their own way with BlackBerry 10. So which is it? Do you have a deep-seated hatred for BlackBerry, so nothing they are capable of doing can be right? If Samsung or LG released a phone like this, would you be crying like this too? I highly doubt it.

          • Airyl

            The Priv is an decent product with a keyboard. Get it through your skull.

          • onstrike112

            Then what’s your vendetta with BlackBerry for?

          • Airyl

            It’s not worth the price. I’m explaining it above.

          • onstrike112

            No, you’re just complaining to complain because nothing BlackBerry does can be good enough for people like you with personal vendettas against them.

          • dannyR

            BlackBerry can’t do anything dumb enough for its own misfortune. It seems it is in competition with itself.

          • Airyl

            I have no personal vendetta against Blackberry. I liked the Passport and the Q10, even if they had some nitpicks to them. I just don’t think the Priv is worth it at the moment.

          • onstrike112

            Alright. My personal preference as stated on another comment chain, makes it right for me.

          • dannyR

            John Chen agrees with you. He’s cutting the price in February.

          • Kem

            There are already price cuts on the Note 5 a few months after it launched, that’s how the cellphone industry works since new technologies are being developed daily.

          • dannyR

            That’s called the ‘fallacy of the complex question.’

        • Airyl

          That basically means it’s not a consumer phone, thus everyone here is justified when they say it’s not what they want, or that there are more desirable devices out there.

          • onstrike112

            It’s called “enterprise mobility” for a reason.

      • Biga173rd

        Sorry to burst your bubble but the Device is very thin and light no bulk at and you get a slide out keyboard. BB hit it out of the park on how this device turned out. I understand all the negativity on this device have you ever held one?

      • Mr_Meee

        A lot of the companies & people that this device is targeting are looking at attributes the average person on the street does not consider. It’s fair to say there are attributes the Priv(ilege) has that are best in class. Most of the population will not even look in those areas when they do their comparisons, probably those things are not important to them, they will buy what suits them, and others will buy this device for those very reasons.

  • Gamma

    but it won best display ?

    • dannyR

      A strange ‘flagship’ attribute for an enterprise phone. But hey, a good phone for teeny-boppers who want the best in HD movies. If the parents can afford it for Christmas, by all means.

      • Karl Schneider

        Actually the main buyers of the Priv seem to be seem to be young succesful women, while the Passport sold almost entirely to men.

  • dannyR

    Apparently the Priv is heading for a price cut in February. I guess there’s something about a keyboarded dinosaur that people just don’t like.

    • Kem

      Don’t assume everyone has the same negative sentiment of a physical keyboard like you do.

    • Mr_Meee

      Yeah but even touchscreen phones are so old now. The first one was in year 2000 fifteen years ago. And Apple’s first one is just more than eight years old now, and from the front a black 2007 one with a button at the bottom looks remarkably similar to a black 2015 one with a button at the bottom. Dinosaurs indeed.

  • Paul_Wb

    As much as I like the device and would like to own it there is no way I would pay 700$ for it..450-500 is as max I can pay for it…and that’s at this price point where we would probably see abt 1-2 million devices sold…imho

    • SamG

      I couldn’t even part with $300 for it lol…

  • Chuck

    Don’t those apps come pre-installed on the Priv? Presumably, these numbers reflect the number of downloads for beta units, especially since the numbers haven’t changed for a couple of months. That being said, I doubt the Priv will sell that well. Being Android, it’s a big step down for BlackBerry 10 users, and being premium priced, it’s out of range for most Android users. Android’s market share is mainly due to the fact that it’s on a lot of very budget devices.

    • Hello. The piece has been update to reflect the pre-install issue. See the section entitled “Notes on the numbers” just before the end.

  • ctleng76

    I’m sorry, but this article is crap. Those apps are pre-installed on the blackberry. The number of installs are only for those that actually install the app from the play store. Those numbers do NOT indicate total install base of an app that is pre-installed at the factory.

    • dannyR

      When articles were touting the ‘700K’ figure suggesting, and some stating, that represented Priv sales, were you commenting they were crap?

      • ctleng76

        No. I wasn’t disputing those horrible figures. I was disputing the author’s claims.

        • dannyR

          That’s not the question. Were you actively commenting under those 700K Priv articles that they were crap?

    • The piece has been updated to reflect this issue. See the section entitled “Notes on the numbers” just before the end.

      • dannyR

        Would the numbers reflect updates? Priv users have been commenting on the camera app as recently as the 20th:
        ————————–
        ” ***** ******** December 20, 2015

        Great camera I really like this camera app, I have no issues with its performance and for my needs it is 5 stars. However, since the last update it has been freezing and crashing especially when taking pictures in landscape.”

    • Karly Johnston

      Unless Priv owners are idiots, they all updated the app.

  • Billy B

    This
    is an awesome phone! I actually wish it was a bit heavier. When I pick
    it up it almost flew off my hand expecting to resist more weight. I will
    not be carrying it during my long walks or any activities that I need
    FM Radio because unfortunately it doesn’t support it for now. I was
    expecting a price tag of abt $150-200 less but I have no regrets paying
    the extra, a couple of dinners at my local steakhouse.

  • Boonlumsion Piyapon

    200,000 units is good sale consider Most people consider Priv as mid-tier Android phone on height-tier price.

    But if BlackBerry still consider “a mid-tier Android phone if the Priv is a success” … and that mean sale low-tier Android on mid-tier price. it is a bad-bad idea. And if BlackBerry plan to do that, please consider go out of phone business.

  • Karly Johnston

    It looks to be another FirePhone. By the April upgrade cycle it should sell for $200.

    • dannyR

      Playbooks and Q5’s won’t be feeling so lonely sitting in the marked-down bins.

    • Mr_Meee

      Cool.

  • TJ

    Yeah well if their CEO wasn’t a douchebag hypocrite, then people would have bought their devices. I know my company would have.

  • Jesse Pentecost

    I’m pretty sure those numbers are from people on other android devices downloading those apps using other means. These apps are preinstalled on the Priv and updates do not count towards downloads.

    • Yes, it does… it count!!

      For apps that were pre-installed…..

      Update count as download IF that’s the first time you download/update the apps using your google account.

      • hitkee

        are you retarded? Why do you keep saying this same idiotic thing?

        If an app is pre-installed, updating it does not make the download count. You can kick and scream all you want, but you can’t change reality.

        go back to that place under the rock, where you belong

        • Frenchman75

          Both the author and this guy are lying. Pre-installed apps do not count and it has been confirmed by both Android and Apple to The Next Web. Just Google ”
          Billions: How exactly do Apple and Google count app downloads?” Can’t post the link or it will be deleted by AA.

          • dolco

            NO, both, the author and this guy are correct. Or…you can explain why preinstalled app Google Maps has more than 1 billion downloads.

  • LittleOtterPaws

    THE GOOGLE PLAY STORE DOES NOT COUNT UPDATES!!

    Seeing as these apps are pre-installed, you’re an idiot. These numbers have nothing to do with sales.

    • Yes, it does… it count!!

      If you donwload apps, then update it… IT DOESN’T COUNTS…

      BUT Update count as download IF that’s the first time you download/update the apps using your google account.

      • Frenchman75

        Stop lying, it does not and has been confirmed by both Android and Apple to The Next Web. Just Google ”
        Billions: How exactly do Apple and Google count app downloads?” Can’t post the link or it will be deleted by AA.

        • dolco

          It was confirmed in 2013 and it is outdated confirmation. We have 2016 now and first updates are counted.

  • Makes Cents

    Sorry to deflate your bias opinion but those apps are already installed on the Priv and never came from Google Play. Also, updates do not count as downloads either. This has been discussed and case thrown out weeks ago.
    The Priv was available for three weeks in the quarter but sales don’t get counted until it’s lite up and after a two week return period. That leaves one week out of a possible twelve weeks in 4 countries with roll out to 31 this quarter.

    • Yes, it does… it count!!

      Update count as download IF that’s the first time you download/update the apps using your google account.

      • Frenchman75

        No it does not. Blackberry sold way more than 50K PRIV or it would have been impossible for hardware revenue to increase quarter over quarter from $210M in Q2 based on 900K units sold at $240 ASP to $223M in Q3 based on only 700K units sold but at an ASP of $315 thanks to strong PRIV contribution! It’s just simple math! Blackberry sold between 150 to 200K PRIVs in November alone! Check the financial statements!

        • dannyR

          Nice, but your carefully-constructed math argument conflicts with Raj Brar’s carefully constructed math argument finding approximately half (125K Priv’s Nov-Dec. total) the units.

          This leaves me to suspect that the article’s deduction (<100,000 units) is just as trustworthy as yours.

          • Karl Schneider

            Don’t you have anything better to do with your life than constantly troll BB sites?

          • dannyR

            I’m hardly ever on BB sites, let alone ‘troll’ them. I’m an Android user, and this is an Android site, in case you haven’t noticed.

          • Karl Schneider

            You might want to hide your profile before making such statements.

          • dannyR

            [What is there to ‘hide’?]
            You might want to make a simple retraction, rather than earn another flagging. This is not a BB site. Try CrackBerry.

  • Jeff

    Lame theory. Lame article. You’re really trying hard to get others to hate BlackBerry and the PRIV and it shows.

    Grow up.

  • Raj Brar

    The best way to find out how many Privs sold is to look at BlackBerry’s ASP. Forbes “The average selling price (ASP) of handsets for the firm is now $315, up from $240”. If they sold 800,00 units a $240 unit in the previous quarter then the question is how many units do we need to sell at $650 (Priv’s ASP) to cause a $65 increase in the ASP? About 125,000 units. How? Total revenue was 315 times 700k=22 million in hardware sales. If you look at at increased revenue while lower overall sales, you have to establish the largest increase coming from PRIVs

  • Tim Holmes

    Simple mathematics refutes this article. The average selling price by blackberry prior to the Priv’s launch was $240. We can assume that the Priv’s average selling price is probably double that (100% higher) which would allow resellers about a 40% margin. In the earnings call, it was stated that the average selling price last quarter was $315 or about 31% higher than the $240 before it.They sold 700K phones in total. Therefore, 31% ASP differential X 100% higher Priv selling price X 700000 units = 217,000 Privs sold and 483,000 other BB devices. So, if you multiply 217,000 X $480 priv price + 483,000 X $240 other device average you get about 220 Million and in their earnings they said they had hardware sales of $222 Million.

    • dannyR

      This article is about Priv-centric app downloads. You’re answering the wrong question.

      • Tim Holmes

        NO, the article is about how many privs are sold based on the app downloads, see the title of the article. My formula proves what everyone else is saying and that is updates are not a reliable source for sales numbers.

        • dannyR

          That’s the title, not the body of the article.

          See my counter-argument to Tim’s below (Frenchman75). And are people saying there was no Camera or keyboard app on beta-units whatsoever?

  • JeanMouloudDeLaRochelle

    Pre-Installed apps on the Priv do not account into the Play Store number of downloads.

    • dannyR

      What about updates? Given the widely-reviewed and noted glitches in the camera software, almost every Priv owner is going want to get the (Priv-only) Camera update as a matter of course.

  • Bruce Banner

    Have BlackBerry services, BlackBerry keyboard and BlackBerry launcher installed on my xperia z5 compact.

    Those bb apps make this phone bearable as a weekender. Don’t want to trash my passport doing things like mountain biking.

  • Mr_Meee

    So far only a limited amount of outlets have been selling this device, in only a few countries up to now, so initial sales are not expected to be a tidal wave, right? Sales should continue to march onwards as the exclusivity deals these companies have will expire and more outlets will be able to stock them, and the device will get more exposure to potential customers around the world. Other sources suggest higher sales figures, only time will tell. The manufacturer would prefer a spread out demand rather than a massive demand at the front, as it fits better with the manufacturing capacity back at the factory.

  • 8thHenry

    Well our BES in 4 years went from hundreds to four users. One hardcore BB user tried the Priv and returned it in two weeks. She couldn’t make the transition to Android. She is in a iPhone now. Should be retiring the other 3 and the BES forever by 2016 1Q.

  • Jayaditt Basani

    The content transfer app registers 500 thousand downloads. Which means people who have blackberry 10 alone register around 500 k downloads. I think the priv sold easily 500k phones

    • dannyR

      What’s that to do with it? That app has been used since early 2013. [And given the percentage of 1 and 2 star reviews, including some recent ones, it’s one more reason not to buy a BB. My Android phone is rated ‘compatible’, but it’s a crapp-shoot that it’s actually going to work.]

    • monkeycrackers2

      The Content Transfer App is not Priv specific and as mentioned it’s been around for years to transfer content from other brands.

  • Mr_Meee

    Would buy it if I had more money. Being able to see the full screen while typing would be awesome. And I think lots of people don’t know that’s not just buttons on the slide out keyboard, they are touch enabled and they also suggest words like touch keyboards do :-) Also I like the expandable memory instead of phones where you are stuck with whatever you bought on day one.

  • MikeD

    I bought the Priv and returned it the very next day. They ruined what might otherwise be a great BlackBerry phone with a poor operating system. BB10 is far superior to Android.

    • dannyR

      If I had a reason to get a BB, it would be as a second, very secure, phone. The Q5 would fit quite nicely, allows a reasonable selection of side-loaded Android apps, is compact, and you could get 10 of them for the price of the ill-named Priv.

  • archtxt

    The only question I have then are there reported increases in the per unit sale price. As noted, most units sell high at initial release. If this is the case, then the higher amounts from older units can’t very well be attributed to the older BB10 units. So if only 50,000 units were sold of the Private based on the assumption presented, then these 50,000 units would have to account for the average per unit selling price to rise from $240 to $315 of the 700,000 units sold. That’s $75 more per phone, or if that is all attributed to the Private at 50,000 unit, that’s about $1050 per Priv. The math doesn’t seem to work.

    • dannyR

      Tim Holmes and Frenchman75 (below) have also taken a math/price approach, differing by a factor of at least 2 between their conclusions. Leading me to consider the math/price approach(es) could be suspect. The article’s app-download approach gives 100,000 units as the maximum, based on a possible Playstore inaccurate stats. That would not be far from what you’re finding.

      • monkeycrackers2

        This article’s assumption about a “100,000” unit maximum is idiotic and based on nothing.
        “Even assuming that installs are double that which is reported, that would still give a range between 20,002 and 100,000 units.”
        WHY?!?? Based on what possible reasoning would you say that it might be double? That’s just a random multiple, why stop at double, why not triple, why not 1.5 times? Priv sales are piss poor, but so is every conclusion in this article as a point of analysis. The number of downloads and installs would only indicate the minimum number of units sold and logged in and however they are calculated, not a maximum. There could be 200,000 unopened Privs under Christmas trees right now. Or zero. The point is you cannot draw a conclusion from the data given. You can say Priv is unpopular, probably not selling well, that BBRY might cut their losses and smarten up and ditch hardware, but to drop multiple numbers and say “this is all they sold” makes no sense.

  • Karl Schneider

    How do they explain the dramatic increase on average price of units sold?, unless they sold a crap load of Passports, but even then the Passport has been reduced in price.

    • dannyR

      The matter would be simply resolved if BB would simply release the figures. The ‘too early to release numbers’ claim is a non-sequitur.

  • Dwight Stewart

    Not to mention that giving AT&T exclusivity severely hampered device sales potential (numbers wise). Every time BB signs an exclusive deal with a carrier they get burned. Imagine if ALL 4 carriers got the device within 2 weeks of each other.

  • dannyR

    A (mercifully brief) exchange of comments on Liliputing appears to lay to rest the claim that these < 50,000 Priv-device-specific represent a large fraction of pre-release installations, updates not counting in the Playstore figure. At your opening of an account, your installed app is counted, once.

    There you have it. Unless you’ve never opened an account there, your pre- installed Priv-specific Camera app is going to be among that (< 50K) count. Of course that means a huge number of exceptionally dumb Priv owners are not signing up and fixing Priv stuff with fixes that really need attention, let alone downloading all those wonderful apps that Priv's whole existence was predicated on.

    Now, if anyone wants to demonstrate conclusively that any pre-Priv BB device can successfully download (and install-count) the Priv-specific Camera app, youTube is open for business.

  • GimmeTheFacts

    It’s twisted propaganda to ultimately scare off any would-be investors and or also paid iscare tactics to stifle the slow leak of ios users. This stock is heavily shorted and the shorts right now are running in circles because ultimately this company, Blackberry, will strive and survive and these people are going to lose money if they do.. It’s been going on for quite some time. They’re threatening is all. Blackberry… I hope all the best to them and find the shear terror in this authors typing a meaning that Blackberry is doing just fine and people are worried they’ll lose A:market share, B:calls to pay for their attempted artificial manipulation of a stock price by creating twists in a story to sound true to their liking and ones demise and doom.. The die demise and doom tactics are getting really old, and insulting to such an informative audience nowadays… is this the articles to expect from this site often? Can anyone contribute? Who paid you to write this? Garbage..

    • dannyR

      One could equally argue that 10K to 50K fanatics are fixing the Priv app numbers by downloading Priv apps (by, say, the arcane and exasperating method detailed on Crackberry: How To Install BlackBerry Priv Apps to Your Android Device) to make it seem that the Priv has sold more than, say, only 1000 units in total.

  • DoTheMath

    If it is possible to do so, investors would be able to deduce sales and revenues from Android producers and such a key business figure will be leaked to the public and their competitions before official release of their financial result. To prevent this obvious business secret from being leaked, Google and Android makes agree to set the installation count to be -1 when the apps are pre-installed so that upon the first updates, the counter is set to be zero. This information is well available in the public. The author for the sake of his own credibity and reputation should either do enough due diligence or use common sense and logic to think from the company financial information disclosure of view. In addition, 700k BB device sold, with BB10 ASP $240 and total ASP $310,assuming ASP of Priv to be $590, 140k Priv have been sold. That is for 3 weeks, now 7 weeks has passed.

  • canalac

    it does not matter the numbers… The Priv is way too expensive. Blackberry should cut the price in the US to 499$ from the moment that Verizon can sell it. Just to give it a second run.

  • G.Braver

    The camera app is pre-installed as it is on every phone. I have a Private. They only Blackberry app I had go install was the content transfer to bring forward data from the Z10 I replaced. That app shows 500K downloads. You would only need this coming from BB10.

  • Arjun

    Damn it’s been 2 weeks I’m using this, indeed the best of both worlds <3
    Love the BB reminder app and of all, the HUB.
    OS not heavily skinned like Touch Wiz. Actually, I like this one better than the Stock OS on my previous Moto.
    The only downside, the camn :( With all that megapizels, Apple's 8mp cam can beat it easily.
    Also, the Music play/pause button was one of the best features on my Q10, which is missing here.
    Speakers? Top Class.

  • Nicholas gentile

    I must say. I came from a note edge and really like the priv. It has it’s flaws but overall it’s a great handset. As a side not I’m not a blackberry fanboy either :p