While BlackBerry has yet to disclose sales numbers for the Priv, the Android-powered smartphone seems to be getting a better reception than recent BlackBerry 10 phones. Because of that, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that BlackBerry says that it’s prepping more Android hardware for 2016. That doesn’t mean that BlackBerry is abandoning BB10, though.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen today published a blog post that confirms that his company will launch another Android smartphone in 2016. Chen didn’t drop any details about the device, though. Speaking at CES earlier this week, he suggested that BlackBerry could even launch a second Android product in 2016.
While John Chen isn’t yet talking specifics about BlackBerry’s upcoming Android hardware, the rumor mill isn’t afraid to talk. A recent leak suggested that the BlackBerry Vienna (codename) could be a new candybar-style Android phone.
Shortly after Chen teased these two new Android phones, there was speculation that BlackBerry could be abandoning its homegrown BlackBerry 10 operating system. Chen promises that that’s not the case, saying in today’s blog post that BlackBerry will continue to invest in BB10 in 2016. An impending update to 10.3.3 will make BB10 more secure for government users, and an update to 10.3.4 will arrive later in 2016 that’ll make BB10 even more secure.
Despite appearing on several devices to date, BlackBerry 10 doesn’t appear to have gained much traction outside of the loyal BlackBerry user base. However, the Android-based BB Priv garnered fairly positive reviews upon its release, so it makes sense that BlackBerry would want to focus on making more Android phones before launching more BlackBerry 10 hardware. While the company may not be on the brink of death, it hasn’t exactly been setting the mobile world on fire in recent years, and so I’m sure that it’d rather launch new Android hardware that can help it to regain some of its former glory.