Last week BlackBerry announced a new Android phone called the Priv. We’ll talk about the name of that phone later, but first we’ll focus on what the Priv does (and doesn’t do).
A Closer Look at the Priv
The BlackBerry Priv is an Android phone, but that’s not the strangest part about the Priv. What’s even stranger (or maybe funnier?) is that BlackBerry CEO John Chen attempted to demonstrate the Priv at a launch last week, but failed to do so. Why? Mostly because Chen (and the BlackBerry team in general) isn’t familiar with Android devices, and this large means that figuring out how to operate one is difficult for most members of the team.
As was rumoured before BlackBerry officially announced the Priv, this phone will be a slider phone (meaning that the front casing of the phone slides to reveal a tactile keypad). BlackBerry chose to go with the QWERTY keyboard because most BlackBerry users prefer the tactile keyboard to a touchscreen device.
The reason why BlackBerry named the new Android phone the company is putting out the “Priv” is to remind users why BlackBerry was once the choice phone for business owners and users. BlackBerry has long been prideful of the company’s ability to keep things private, and to create devices that are private above all else.
So this is why the company named the phone ‘Priv’ (as in “privacy”). While an odd name for a phone, BlackBerry does promise that the new device will be just as secure and private as all of its older and beloved devices.
What About BlackBerry 10?
Now that BlackBerry has switched to Android, will the company completely abandon the BlackBerry 10 platform? Company representatives have told press that the BlackBerry 10 platform will not be abandoned despite the company’s choice to move towards Android. So why did BlackBerry choose to put out an Android phone? Essentially because BlackBerry wants to attract new users, and Android users are some of the biggest users out there.
BlackBerry’s newest phone isn’t available yet, but the company has officially made the Priv announcement, and it will be arriving later this year. An exact launch date hasn’t been announced quite yet, but you can expect to be able to grab a priv sometime in the very near future - this writer is guessing prior to the holiday season, which is very soon.
What about the design of the phone that BlackBerry has chosen? Are people really going to go for a slide phone now? It’s actually a good sign that BlackBerry has chosen to go against the pack and create a phone that doesn’t look like all the rest.
Plus, those die hard BlackBerry users can’t get enough of old school phones, and a slide phone seems like just the thing to get those old users back - and maybe even attract some new ones. Since this phone is on the Android platform, BlackBerry’s app issue will disappear as well - all of this adds up to a phone you may actually want to buy if you’re sick of the same old Apple-esque design.