This year has brought with it a number of interesting announcements and product launches. However, one of those which will be remembered as one of the big talking points of the year, was the latest device launched from BlackBerry, the BlackBerry PRIV. Although, BlackBerry would not commonly be making the headlines in the Android world, this is a smartphone which comes running on Android and essentially marked the manufacturer’s entry into the Android realm. One which was being watched by consumers and the industry alike, as this was thought to be a last resort type option for BlackBerry.
Regardless of whether this was a last ditch maneuver by the comment or a perfectly timed strategy, the initial impressions seem to be the device is doing well for the company. John Chen, BlackBerry CEO, has been speaking today to investors and during the talk largely confirmed that the PRIV has not only done better than they expected, but is a device which might be turning the tide for the company’s struggling hardware division.
That said, in spite of what is proving to be a successful Android debut device launch, Chen did make it clear that the company has a long way to go before they can really start to make an impact or follow-on strategic moves. According to Chen, “My first goal is to get us into a break-even position with the device business, because you really couldn’t do anything strategically with a business that continues to lose money.” Interestingly, Chen during also made it clear that the move to Android is not only one which has brought with it instant sales of their latest device, but was one which actually allowed the company to save significantly on their production costs. Again, according to Chen, engineering costs were reduced “because we don’t have to do everything ourselves in the operating system world.” Of course, while the hardware on offer coupled with Android will be one selling point, what was likely to be a very important selling point for the PRIV, is its emphasis on security, which has been a growing concern for many Android consumers. As such, it does seem that BlackBerry did arrive at quite the opportune moment.