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BlackBerry CEO Confirms Plans For 2 New Mid-Range Devices

April 8, 2016 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

The CEO of Canada’s BlackBerry Limited, Mr. John Chen, had earlier hinted that the company is seriously considering making mid-range smartphones to make the brand more accessible to a wider audience, and according to a recent report carried by UAE-based news outlet, The National, he has now officially confirmed those plans in an interview to the publication. According to the report, Mr. Chen conceded that the pricing of the BlackBerry Priv, the company’s first-ever Android-based smartphone, is too high to appeal to regular retail consumers, which is of course, exactly what Mr. Chen apparently believes BlackBerry needs to do to get the sort of sales that would allow the company to compete with market leaders like Samsung and Apple, or at least, cut out a sizable enough niche for itself in the global smartphone market.

While Mr. Chen did not give out a whole lot of details about what to expect from the two upcoming BlackBerry mid-rangers, he did give the media and BlackBerry fans a few things to chew on till more information regarding the devices start hitting the press. According to him, both devices are going to be priced fairly competitively, around the $300 – $400 mark, and while one of them will come with BlackBerry’s traditional QWERTY keyboard much like the Priv, the other will be a touchscreen-only device, like most Android-based smartphones these days. While this is certainly not the first time we’re hearing about two new BlackBerry devices being launched this year, it is indeed hugely significant coming straight from the horse’s mouth. For those unfamiliar, earlier rumors had suggested that the Canadian company is all set to launch two mid-range Android devices this year codenamed ‘Hamburg’ (touchscreen-only) and ‘Rome’ (touchscreen plus QWERTY keyboard, like the Priv).

In another interview, Mr. Chen also said that BlackBerry is re-considering its strategy in markets such as India, which, at one stage, was one of the largest markets for the company, but that scenario has changed dramatically over the past few years with the phenomenal rise of Android. Now, the company apparently has “a strategy” to get back into the game, and is busy “putting people and infrastructure together to execute the strategy” in what is now the second largest mobile market in the world after China.