The arrival of the BlackBerry PRIV was one of the main talking points of the mobile industry in the second half of 2015. As this was the first BlackBerry device to come running on the Android operating system, it was a stark departure from the company’s previous stance of releasing handsets on its own operating system. A move many smartphone consumers had long called for, and one that some may have thought was a little too late.
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Since its arrival, it has been difficult to know just how well the PRIV has been selling as the company has been rather quiet in general on this particular topic. However, it was expected that BlackBerry would release some details today, along with releasing their financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and that does now seem to be the case. In terms of the PRIV, BlackBerry has confirmed that only 600,000 handsets were shipped during the quarter. This is significantly below what had been expected, with analysts from Wells Fargo Securities only yesterday predicting the figure to be around 850,000. Likewise, revenue was reported to be at $464 million which is again, below expectations and thought to be a direct result of the under-performing sales of the PRIV, due to the software sales and service results being far more in line with what had been previously expected.
According to the details coming through though, BlackBerry are still keen to progress with another smartphone and have further again hinted at the arrival of a secondary handset which will be a “mid-range, corporate owned type of device”. It is important to note, that they have only hinted at this and have not provided any firm details on whether this definitely will come to market or when. However, BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, was also noting saying that while “people do like our Priv”, BlackBerry has seen issues with what Chen describes as a “more limited audience” and an industry which “seems to be saturated at the moment.” With Chen further adding that their main goal going forward “is to continue to ramp up software and services.” Which is only likely to fuel the current rumors that BlackBerry could be preparing to exit the hardware market.