The BlackBerry Priv, the company’s first Android smartphone, marked a new page in BlackBerry’s history and the handset could just be the start of a longer chapter. In a recent interview, BlackBerry CEO John Chen stated that the company will consider moving into the mid-range Android market as well, providing that the Priv is seen as a success.
Chen stated that the Priv’s results over the next three to four months are going to be key when determining what the company does next. Chen mentioned that he’s looking at results for the Priv in terms of margin and not necessarily just in terms of sales volume.
If the Priv is well received, and Chen seems rather optimistic that the phone is on the right track, BlackBerry will consider developing a new mid to high end smartphone that could launch sometime in the 2016 calendar year. We are probably looking at a launch in the later half. A low cost smartphone from BlackBerry seems rather unlikely, but its next handset could take the form of the reasonably priced “super-mid” tier of products that have become increasingly popular in Asia and Europe.
When questioned about a further hardware partnership with Samsung, which manufactures the AMOLED display for the Priv, Chen insisted that the two companies continue to work together but don’t have any confirmed long running deals for physical product development. However, the two continue to run joint products in the security space and with Samsung’s Knox products for mobile.
BlackBerry looks to be taking its mobile strategy just one quarter at a time and isn’t making any long term commitments. Given the competitive nature of today’s mobile market, this strategy may pay off.