During an interview with The National, John Chen, the current CEO of BlackBerry shared the company’s plan of announcing two more Android-powered smartphones later this year.
Although he didn’t give away too much detail about the upcoming handsets, Chen mentioned that the one of the smartphones will have a physical keyboard, while the other one will be full touchscreen.
Another information that the BlackBerry CEO shared with the publication is that the handsets will be in the lower tier compared to Priv, the company’s first Android smartphone.
“The fact that we came out with a high end phone [as our first Android device] was probably not as wise as it should have been. – John Chen”
The decision to come up with a pair of mid-range smartphones instead of a successor to the Priv is based from the feedback that BlackBerry received from its patrons in the enterprise segment. Consumers find the Priv, with its $700 price tag, a little too expensive for their liking, and add that they would prefer a BlackBerry smartphone with a sticker price that’s around the $400 mark.
In his closing statement, Chen reiterated his plans of making BlackBerry’s handset division profitable, a credo he’s been living by since he took the reins back in 2013. However, he stated that if these upcoming Android-powered smartphones (and other handsets in the pipeline) will still not boost the company’s profit, he may be forced to “get out of the handset business” and focus the company’s resources to its software services.