Blackberry has announced that the Blackberry PRIV, the first Android based device the company released two years ago, will no longer be seeing regular updates. The news isn’t shocking and fits with what most manufactures, including Google, do when it comes to software updates. Most only go out 24 months from release of the device.
For their part, Blackberry is doing their best to spin the news, indicating that they made the PRIV more secure out-of-the-box and it needed less patching anyway. They also indicated that they will be providing updates should a critical security flaw be discovered and that warranty support is still provided.
It is news that Blackberry Priv owners likely knew was coming down the pike: There will be no Android Oreo update for the last Blackberry-build device.
The news came via the company’s general manager of Mobility, Alex Thurber. He was recently on the UTB Blogcast and confirmed that the phone will not be updated to Oreo. It is disappointing of course but not surprising. Blackberry’s new parent company, TCL, has been focusing on restoring the brand’s name and their own first built device, the KEYone. The KEYone has been confirmed to receive an update to Oreo.
Today, Sprint here in the United States has become the first carrier to sell the Blackberry KEYone. The announcement came from TCL, the company who licenses the Blackberry name, with the price starting at $22 per month for 18 months. Outright, the phone is $528.
The KEYone drew a lot of attention when it was announced back in January with its keyboard and after a couple of delays, it is finally available for ordering. The GSM version of the phone is $619.99 on Amazon.
Today’s Deal is on the all new BlackBerry KEYone, the latest Android-powered phone from the company that also sports a physical keyboard. The KEYone drew a lot of attention when it was announced back in January with its keyboard and after a couple of delays, it is finally available for ordering. The GSM version of the phone is $549.99 on Amazon.
For those that don’t recall, the KEYone is a 4.5″ device that is powered by the Snadragon 625 processor. It has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. It runs Android Nougat 7.1.1 out of the box and has the same cameras as you will find in the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. It is powered by a 3505mAh battery and has a physical QUERTY keyboard.
Today’s Deal is on the solid performing BlackBerry Priv. Right now you can pick up the 2015 flagship for $319 on Amazon. The Priv is a unique phone in that it has a slide-down physical QWERTY keyboard, the hallmark of BlackBerry devices in the past. It is a solid performing phone with good specifications, especially for a late 2015 device. It has a 5.43″ curved QHD display and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor. That hexa-core processor runs at 1.8GHz and is coupled with 3GB of RAM.
Storage wise, the Priv comes with 32GB onboard but that can be expanded up to and additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD card. It has a 3410 mAh battery to keep you going throughout the day and it supports Quick Charge 2.0 technology to get recharged quickly. Camera wise, the BlackBerry Priv has an 18MP rear shooter with OIS and dual-tone flash while the front camera is 2MP
One thing to keep in mind is that BlackBerry has given no clear indication if the Priv will receive the Android Nougat update. That may be a big deal for some readers so bear that in mind if you consider this phone. Overall though, for what it offers along with the security that the company has built into this device, it is a solid option at this price.
While it is not very surprising, it is still sad to see. Blackberry has announced that they will be halting all internal hardware development and will focus only on software development going forward. The news came from the company’s 2nd Quarter financials report call, where the company announced revenue of just $334 million for the quarter. That is down nearly 50% from last year and is a far cry from the billion-plus quarters of just a handful of years ago. How the mighty have fallen.
To their credit and the credit of CEO John Chen, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The company is shifting to a software company and the returns on that shift and investment are already starting to happen. The new Blackberry will be building apps and services around security and productivity for Android devices, two areas that Blackberry has always excelled at doing.
It wasn’t long ago that Blackberry as a company was on their deathbed. Blackberry 10 was dying a death and the company switched gears to Android, making the secure and eagerly anticipated Blackberry Priv. The device got reasonable but not glowing reviews and the price tag of $700 was laughable at best. Still, the Priv did okay at first and both AT&T and T-Mobile picked up the device. Now, nearly a year later, T-Mobile has dropped the Priv from their site and AT&T admits that the device is struggling with them.
What went wrong?
There are a lot of things that led to the situation Blackberry find themselves in at this point. The question is, will we be on death watch once again for a company that just a handful of years ago ruled the enterprise mobile device market?