The BlackBerry Priv will never be updated to Android 7.0 Nougat or later iterations of Google’s omnipresent mobile operating system, the company’s General Manager of Mobility Solutions Alex Thurber confirmed. While speaking at the UTB Blogcast on Friday, Mr. Thurber explained that the complex network of product partners which would have to actively contribute to the hypothetical update made the possibility of it ever rolling out practically impossible. His comments confirm the BlackBerry Priv will officially remain on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow which it received last year after being released with Android 5.0 Lollipop in November 2015.
It’s currently unclear whether the DTEK50 and DTEK60 — which launched with Android 6.0 Marshmallow in August and October of 2016, respectively — will also be denied their Nougat updates for the same reason, though Mr. Thurber hinted that such a scenario is possible while talking with UTB Blogs during a podcast which is available for listening below. The DTEK-branded smartphones are still set to continue receiving monthly security patches developed by Google and optimized by BlackBerry for the time being, the company’s executive said, adding that the firm is currently in the process of finalizing its Android 8.0 Oreo build for the BlackBerry KEYone. It’s currently unclear when BlackBerry’s latest mid-ranger is to receive the next major iteration of Google’s OS, though the update is widely expected to be rolled out by early 2018.
The Canadian tech giant made a major product strategy shift in recent times, having opted to shut down its hardware division and start collaborating with original design manufacturers (ODMs), as well as licensing its brand to third parties. The BlackBerry KEYone is the product of one such partnership with Chinese TCL Communication and more similar devices like the still-unannounced “Krypton” are also believed to be made in collaboration of BlackBerry and independent ODMs. The company made no indication that it’s planning on releasing another smartphone in 2017 and given its recent product launch patterns, it seems likely that the next handset from the firm will be showcased at the 2018 iteration of Las Vegas, Nevada-based Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. BlackBerry brought the KEYone to CES 2017 months before officially debuting its product at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, and the company may opt for a similar approach to introducing its next major Android smartphone in 2018.