UPDATE: BlackBerry CEO John Chen said on today's earnings call that he's working with all major carriers on the distribution of the BlackBerry Priv.
After countless leaks, BlackBerry today finally confirmed that it’s working on a new Android device.
As part of its fiscal Q2 2016 results announcement, BlackBerry revealed that is working on a new “flagship slider device” called the Priv. The phone will run Android and is touted as “bringing together the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform.”
No spec details for the BlackBerry Priv have been given, but BlackBerry does say that it will launch the Priv late in 2015 “in major markets.”
It’s still kind of crazy to think that BlackBerry will be making a smartphone that runs something other than BlackBerry OS, but now the device is official, so it looks like it is indeed happening. The Priv is definitely going to garner quite a bit of attention at launch, and it’ll be interesting to see how many folks end up picking one up. Lots of people have said before that they’d buy an Android-powered BlackBerry phone or just a new Android phone with a physical keyboard, but will they go through with that purchase when the Priv arrives? BlackBerry sure hopes so.
While it is indeed working on an Android smartphone, BlackBerry says that it’s still committed to its own BlackBerry 10 operating system. BlackBerry promises that it will continue to develop BB10, adding that it will release security and privacy-focused updates, including a version 10.3.3 update that’s scheduled for release in March 2016.
Rounding out today’s announcements are BlackBerry’s fiscal Q2 2016 numbers. The quarter wasn’t great to BlackBerry, with the company reporting a net loss of $66 million, down from $28 million last quarter. BlackBerry also reports that it recognized hardware revenue on 800,000 devices, down from 1.1 million in the previous quarter.