"The company’s chief executive, John Chen, told The National that BlackBerry plans to launch two mid-range Android handsets this year, one with a physical keyboard and one with a full touchscreen. He declined to say when the new devices would go on sale."With Facebook and WhatsApp ditching the BlackBerry OS it seems like the company is putting all of their eggs in the Android basket. If these phones won't succeed in resurrecting the company, they will probably be the last phones BlackBerry makes, John Chen says:
“Since I started at the company [in November 2013] I’ve been saying I’ll make the handset business profitable. If I can’t make it profitable because the market won’t let me, then I’ll get out of the handset business. I love our handset business, but we need to make money."
The two phones will carry a price tag of around $3-400, and they're apparently named Hamburg (the touchscreen model) and Rome (the model with a physical keyboard). A Crackberry forum post reveals a poor quality photo that at least gives us an idea of what to expect. If the leak is real, here's what the new phones will look like:
If the past is to be trusted, these phones should be enough to bring BlackBerry's phone business back afloat. I don't know about you, but I can't even imagine a world with no BB phones. Should they match the Priv hardware-wise and pack 3GB RAM, a powerful 18 megapixel camera and a Snapdragon 808 six core processor, they stand a good chance of making it big.
What do you think about BlackBerry's move to mid-range Android phones? Smart business plan or last stand?
Image source: knowyourmobile.com
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