The Android-powered BlackBerry Ghost smartphone is set to be launched this summer, established industry insider Evan Blass said Thursday. The handset that’s been rumored for months now is understood to be produced by Optiemus Infracom, an Indian electronics maker and one of the Canadian company’s original design manufacturer partners licenses to create and retail BlackBerry smartphones in its home country and several surrounding markets. Due to that state of affairs, the BlackBerry Ghost isn’t expected to be closely related to the upcoming KEY2 or any other BlackBerry products from Huizhou, Guangdong, China-based TCL Communication.
The upcoming smartphone is rumored to be meant to compete in either the upper mid-range of flagship segment of the market, featuring a traditional candy bar design which lacks a physical QWERTY/QWERTZ keyboard many BlackBerry handsets — even contemporary ones — feature. Previous reports also pointed to a dual-camera setup being part of the package, with Mr. Blass’s Thursday comments pointing toward the same and the industry insider claiming the handset will have “low-light enhancements” and optical zoom, without elaborating on the matter. If the BlackBerry Ghost ends up being a full-fledged Android flagship, the secondary lens found on its back panel may be of the telephoto variety, as is the case with numerous other high-end smartphones released in recent times.
The BlackBerry Ghost is expected to first be launched in India but as Optiemus also has a standing license to use the Canadian mobile brand for commercial purposes in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal, the handset may eventually make its way to those markets as well. Unlike TCL, Optiemus hasn’t been using its BlackBerry rights too aggressively over the last year, having released only a couple of low-end models in its operating region. The BlackBerry Ghost is unlikely to ever make its way to the West. No BlackBerry flagships hit the market ever since the Waterloo-based tech giant shut down its hardware operations and turned to a licensing business model in late 2016, with the 2015 Priv being the last true high-end device to launch as part of the iconic brand.