BlackBerry may have officially announced its plans to launch at least two more Android-powered smartphones this year, but the company is apparently having trouble convincing all the major carriers in the US to carry its very first Android handset on their respective networks. While the BlackBerry Priv is currently available on AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, Sprint is the only major carrier in the country not to offer the device on its network currently, and according to an official announcement from the company, it is likely to stay that way in the near future at least. On Friday, April 8th, Sprint’s official Twitter account, @sprintcare, tweeted that the company will “no longer carry the BlackBerry Priv” on its network. The device was originally introduced as an AT&T-exclusive last year, before it was eventually made available on other carriers.
It will be interesting to see if Sprint’s decision to forego the Priv is a result of any friction between the two companies like there was between BlackBerry and T-Mobile last year before both Mr. John Legere and Mr. John Chen announced truce and got back to doing business together. Or, as some online speculations seem to be suggesting, this could very well be just a shrewd business call from the Sprint management, given that the Priv never quite managed to capture the imagination of mainstream users the way BlackBerry would have hoped it would, partly because of its $700 price-point and partly because the company is yet to shed off its straightjacketed corporate image that it once so successfully flaunted to become the biggest smartphone vendor in the world.
Even as the Priv has not really taken off as much as the company’s CEO, Mr. John Chen, and his colleagues at the Canadian firm would have hoped for, the company is apparently still harboring plans to introduce new Android smartphones to its lineup later this year, as mentioned already. However, both those devices will come in much more pocket-friendly price-tags of between $300 to $400. Meanwhile, with just 600,000 Privs having been sold in Q4, 2015, BlackBerry knows all too well that it needs to make a success of those upcoming devices to gain some traction in the market and compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple.