BlackBerry ‘could release second Android phone in 2016’

BlackBerry 'could release second Android phone in 2016'

Blackberry's chief executive John Chen has hinted that the company may release a second Android-based smartphone as a follow-up to the Priv, which was released at the beginning of November.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Mr Chen said the company was likely to continue its pursuit of making Android-based devices if the Priv manages to gain traction in the market.

Amid its November launch, Priv was initially only made available in four markets, including the US, UK, and Canada, but take up of the new device has increased since then and the phone is expected to be released in a further 31 markets very soon.

And the BlackBerry chief has refused to rule out following it up with another release.

"[It] depends on the Priv," he said. "If the Priv is well received in the market, and it looks like it is, there's a good chance… We will still focus on the high-end, probably closer to mid-range, coming out in 2016."

Mr also hinted that if BlackBerry does decide to make such a device, it would be pitched at a lower price than the Priv.   

However, he did add that if the latest phone did not sell well enough, BlackBerry may well decide to finally call time on its production of devices altogether, opting to focus on mobile and security software instead, areas that have provided a foundation for the company's recovery.

Mr Chen's comments come amid growing speculation surrounding a large smartphone codenamed Vienna. A leak to fansite Crackberry suggests the new device will contain the traditional BlackBerry keyboard and will be made available in a number of colours.