BlackBerry Confirms Android-Based Priv Smartphone

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

BlackBerry Confirms Android-Based Priv Smartphone.

As expected, the upcoming device will be called Priv—shortened from “privacy”—and features a screen that slopes down on either side (think Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge). “Today, I am confirming our plans to launch Priv, an Android device named after BlackBerry’s heritage and core mission of protecting our customers’ privacy,” CEO John Chen said in a statement. “Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform.” The announcement comes as no surprise, following a number of leaks, the most recent from Internet tipster @evleaks, who tweeted the “Priv” name on Thursday.

Last month, Vietnam-based Ba Minh Duc posted to his Facebook page a device he claimed is the BlackBerry Priv; local news outlet Tinhte also showed more photos, highlighting the device’s rough backplate and slide-out keyboard. While the decision appeared to be an admission of defeat for the BlackBerry 10, the company said it was still proceeding with an update for its own software as well.

The Canadian company stated in its Q2 report that it is “focused on making faster progress to achieve profitability in our handset business,” before finally confirming the launch of “Priv,” a name that was first rumored earlier this week. The announcement came as the company released a larger-than-expected loss of $66 million, excluding accounting adjustments, or 13 cents a share for its second quarter. In fact, Chen admitted during a Friday earning call that he “jumped the gun” with today’s announcement, which was made because the phone was “leaking everywhere.” “We’re confirming the fact that we are bringing our security know-how to the Android ecosystem,” he said, adding that the company is working with major carriers to determine pricing and a distribution timeline. In today’s hectic world, where cyber threats are real for everyone, BlackBerry is making sure that our products invoke this mantra that your privacy is your privilege.

With BlackBerry already supporting Android devices though its enterprise-focused BES12 security platform, the company says the new Android smartphone will be tailored for the business community with security in mind. Fueling rumors of a possible Android device, BlackBerry recently announced a partnership with Google to “set new standards in enterprise mobile security for organizations deploying Android devices.” The companies are integrating BlackBerry’s BES12 security software with Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system and Google Play for Work.

Today’s confirmation comes as another former mobile phone giant is rumored to be working on new Android devices — photos purported to be of a new Nokia C1 Android phone emerged earlier this month. There will be a camp that reacts to this news with surprise, while others will see how, over the past two years, we’ve laid the groundwork to make this possible. The remaining 43 percent came from monthly fees generated by older generations of BlackBerry phones for services on the company’s proprietary network.

It began with honing in on our DNA of security, privacy and productivity, and then bringing that heritage and continued innovation to other operating systems. And we are advancing our own platform, redefining the expectations of mobility in today’s age of risk and cybercrime so that we can serve customers even better. At the same time, I want to be clear: fans of BlackBerry’s workhorse BlackBerry 10 smartphones can continue to depend on us, and we appreciate their commitment.

There is continued demand for our flagship BlackBerry 10 devices like BlackBerry Passport and Classic by consumers, enterprises and regulated industries. Combined with BlackBerry’s support of Android for Work on our BES12 platform, the new device will offer best-in-class security for enterprise customers.

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