After years of speculation and a seemingly constant stream of rumors, BlackBerry finally has a smartphone that’s running Android. And not a heavily skinned version of Google’s mobile operating system, either. This is an Android experience that folks who don’t want to sift through HTC’s, Samsung’s or a plethora of other company’s proprietary software will be looking forward to. BlackBerry tried to create something that people would actually want to buy, both in hardware and software, and fortunately for BlackBerry that didn’t necessarily mean they had to get rid of the things that made BlackBerry so popular back in the day.
Of course, being popular back then doesn’t count for much these days, not when Apple and Google are taking the lion’s share of attention. BlackBerry and Microsoft are the vanguard in the mobile industry, the names that have managed to stick around despite all of the adversity, even if it hasn’t been all that bright for either company. Of course, Microsoft is trying to turn things around, but it’s keeping everything in-house still (except for some fantastic multi-platform apps).
BlackBerry, on the other hand, finally realized it had to lean on a different mobile operating system to even attempt making any headway in the market.
That’s sad news for the folks out there that might have been a fan of BlackBerry’s own OS, but great news for the people out there in the wild that might have ditched BlackBerry’s hardware due to the lack of developer support in the software, and have wanted to come back. The PRIV is BlackBerry’s best hardware to date, based on the reviews that have begun to crop up, and the physical keyboard is exactly what some have been wanting to get back to.
But does any of it matter? The PRIV is BlackBerry’s attempt at getting back into the smartphone race, and it’s also an attempt to tell all those who might have left BlackBerry for other companies that it’s okay to come back. You can now have the software that so many people obviously want, but they’ll throw in their top-tier hardware for good measure. For someone who wants a physical keyboard, the PRIV is essentially the only option worth considering. The best part of that realization is that BlackBerry is the company you want to be considering when it comes to a physical keyboard.
Will it accomplish what BlackBerry is so obviously aiming for? Can the PRIV be the device that carries the company into the future, so they can launch an even better PRIV 2 next year? I’m not sure that BlackBerry will sell hundreds of thousands of PRIV units, but I can’t help but wonder if their forecasts even call for that. I can honestly say that BlackBerry skipping a carrier exclusive in the United States is ridiculously good news, though.
In any event, do you plan on buying a PRIV? If so, what made you decide on the new Android-powered handset from BlackBerry?