The BlackBerry PRIV has been all over the news in the last couple of days, first having been tipped as the new name for the Android-powered BlackBerry device previously known as the BlackBerry Venice, then earlier today as well when BlackBerry CEO John Chen officially confirmed the device, as well as showcased it in a video briefly detailing some of its hardware features, design, and functions. BlackBerry has been having a hard time of late, which likely isn’t shocking to anyone who is remotely aware of the success of its two biggest rivals, Android and iOS. Recently BlackBerry handset sales have decreased to an all-time low of under 1 million handsets and they’re still losing revenue. These details however, don’t seem to phase John Chen.
He seems quite happy during his interview while showing off and discussing the PRIV, and according to Chen that’s because he and BlackBerry firmly believe that they can turn around the company’s revenue and handset sales figures in as little as two quarters. That would put BlackBerry at seeing profits as early as next Spring, which Chen states will be helped along by Google and its operating system. Essentially Chen is talking about the PRIV, which suggests he expects it to sell quite well given the nature of the OS, he also states that early impressions from carriers and customers who have seen it have responded very well. It wouldn’t be too presumptuous then based on Chen’s belief that BlackBerry’s future success has a lot riding on the success of their first Android phone, and with that being the case it would make a lot of sense why they may have taken so long to develop it. They need to get it right.
Chen isn’t shy about admitting (not in these exact words, of course) that BlackBerry OS lacks applications. Commenting on the PRIV, he states that it’s “the answer for the former BlackBerry user who misses the keyboard, but wants apps.” Even though BlackBerry revenues are still decreasing and sales were down by as much as 46 percent for the second quarter of 2015, it isn’t all bad for BlackBerry’s numbers. When compared to the second quarter net loss of $207 million in 2014, this year in the same quarter BlackBerry reports a net income of $51 million. That’s no small improvement. In addition to that, BlackBerry also now has $100 million in positive cash flow, all without having an Android device on the market just yet. Taking this into consideration, it’s easy to see why Chen might be optimistic about profits in the near future now that a BlackBerry running Android is official.