Unlocked AT&T BlackBerry Privs May Get Updates Soon

Not too long ago, getting your hands on an AT&T branded, unlocked BlackBerry Priv became one of the cheapest ways to get one. Sitting pretty at around $399, but always below $500, vendors like Newegg took to the deal and it spread like wildfire. There was, however, a bit of a problem. As time went on and BlackBerry began to push out updates, owners of these phones started to find out that they were unable to get OS updates without an AT&T SIM card, even if they were around Wi-Fi. According to AT&T, these customers are on AT&T's update schedule, and must wait for AT&T to release the updates. The issue is that, rather than having to take AT&T's updates, users get none at all. Since the phone has yet to receive any custom ROMs, this leaves owners of the AT&T branded Priv stuck on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. BlackBerry, however, is reportedly working on a solution.

With users of their device at a carrier's mercy with no way to break themselves free because of the hyper-secure software preventing the flashing of custom ROMs, it naturally falls to BlackBerry to bail out their users. They have yet to release any details on exactly how they plan to do that, however, having only said that they are working on a fix of some sort for the issue. With details being so sparse, it's anybody's guess as to just how BlackBerry proposes to amend the situation, whether they will be creating some sort of tool that checks all AT&T branded Priv units out there and issues the update to unlocked ones, or perhaps reclassifying all Priv units out there to lump factory and unlocked ones together, or even working something out with AT&T, owners are told to rest assured that, in one form or another, they're looking into it.

The unlocked version of the Priv received the update to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow at the end of April, so users of the unlocked version are, thus far, only out in the cold by a month. As the gap grows, Marshmallow adoption widens and more and more developers implement fixes for Marshmallow and Android N that may break Lollipop compatibility, the problem is bound to become more pronounced. The issue is already garnering tons of attention in various forums but thus far, the community has yet to find a way past the phone's defenses.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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