BlackBerry on Friday confirmed the development of ‘Priv’ Android smartphone while announcing its Q2 financial results. The Android smartphone is currently codenamed ‘Venice’.
Executive chairman and CEO John Chen revealed in a press statement that BlackBerry is finally moving to adopt Google’s Android with launching the Priv smartphone. Chen stated that the new smartphone will be launched sometime in the fourth quarter to improve the company’s existing position in the smartphone market for fiscal 2016.
“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,” Chen said, adding, “Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expensive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform.”
Chen didn’t reveal complete details about the BlackBerry Priv. However, a couple of initial reports claimed that the new smartphone will run on Android Lollipop operating system out of the box and sports a physical keyboard, similar to the previously launched BlackBerry Passport.
Unlike the Passport, a GIF leaked in the recent past certainly shows that the BlackBerry Priv has a slide-out physical keyboard and comes with a dual-edge display to deliver an all-new user experience.
As far as the specifications are concerned, the BlackBerry Priv is rumoured to have a 5.4-inch QHD display and a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor. The smartphone is said to have an 18-megapixel rear camera sensor along with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) technology and come with a 5-megapixel front camera sensor.
The launch of the BlackBerry Priv may not give a tough competition to existing Android flagships but would improve the company’s position that generated $490 million GAAP revenue in the second quarter.
In last November, Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry partnered with Samsung to provide enterprise-level security on Android running Galaxy devices. The company also acquired startup Movirtu to improve BYOD and COPE adoptions that would help in promoting the upcoming smartphone in the market.
According to a recent report by research firm IDC, BlackBerry is declining in the smartphone market as its operating system accounted for 0.3 percent, whereas Google’s Android leads with a market share of 83 percent.