BlackBerry stakes future on new Android-based handset

Will BlackBerry crumble, or can a new phone save the company?

BlackBerry new phone Priv

The new BlackBerry - What the world is crying out for. Image: BlackBerry

Embattled mobile telephone maker BlackBerry is taking what could be its last bite of the cherry, as it stakes its future on a new android-based handset.

The Priv, which is the name of the new model, will be the first BlackBerry to use Google’s Android operating system. In the past BlackBerry’s phones have used their own system.

At its peak in 2009, BlackBerry telephones accounted for around a fifth of all mobile phone sales, but its market share took a beating and it is now stuck at just 0.3% of global smartphone shipments according to the FT.

The new phone is aimed at addressing smartphone users’ privacy concerns and comes with additional security mechanisms as well as a function that lets users know how much data and computing power apps are using.

It will also feature a long(ish) lasting battery, that lasts for 23 hours – whoop! and a slide-out keyboard, such as those never seen on normal smartphones.

It will cost £560.

Speaking about the move to Android, Gareth Hurn, director of device portfolio planning at BlackBerry said: “We don’t want to be disqualified for reasons of ecosystem. We think that the [smartphone] market is quite tired — it’s all a single slab of glass.

“When you move into the ultra competitive Android market it needs to exceed what’s already out there.”

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