The ailing situation at BlackBerry is not a secret to anyone now. A while back, the new administration made it clear that it was focusing mostly on its enterprise sector and that the consumer market is its second priority.
Now the crunch time has arrived. BlackBerry’s highly-realistic CEO John S. Chen has revealed that his company’s goal is to sell 5 million phones a year, or else it will leave a market which it once so clearly dominated for its own good.
The 5 million unit figure may not seem like much to a lot of people, but the company sold just 800,000 phones in the last quarter and hence is being more realistic in terms of achieving its goals.
Priv: A BlackBerry Phone That Runs Android
The company’s next priority is clearly the Android-running “Priv” smartphone, which Chen also then proceeded to reveal. The phone brings the Android smartphone of today in a sliding form-factor, the slider concealing the famous BlackBerry keyboard.
Said to be thinner than a Note 5, on paper, it offers the renowned security of BlackBerry and the expansive ecosystem of Android together but whether BlackBerry’s materialization in the Android ecosystem be any different to Nokia’s remains to be seen. The Android Lollipop-running device is expected come this November with Snapdragon 808, 18 mp camera and biometric sense touch.
Using Android however wouldn’t mean that BlackBerry will give up entirely on its own BB10 OS. However, Chen did note that the demand for those phones is drying in the consumer market and is found more in the high-security business. Whether his company will still be using BB10 in two years time, he couldn’t tell for sure. He also noted that the only phone claiming to provide higher security than his own is the Blackphone, claims BlackBerry has itself rebuked so publicly in the past.
With this “2016 or bust” strategy in place, we finally have a clue of what the company’s ambitions are for the future. The next few quarters are surely among the more crucial in its history.