The BlackBerry Priv was a big deal when it debuted last year. It was the first BlackBerry phone running Android, it was a new Android phone with a physical keyboard, and it offered high-end specs. Despite all of that, though, sales of the device may not be as strong as some had expected.
An AT&T executive has revealed that the BlackBerry Priv is “really struggling.” The exec told CNET that AT&T has “seen more returns than we’d like,” explaining that most people that bought the Priv have been hardcore BlackBerry fans that struggled with making the switch from BlackBerry OS or BlackBerry 10 to Android. Those struggles with the OS change resulted in more device returns than anticipated.
The BlackBerry Priv is available from several outlets. BlackBerry has been selling the Priv direct and unlocked since October, and the phone is also available from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the US. AT&T has offered it the longest of the three carriers.
AT&T didn’t share exact BlackBerry Priv sales numbers, but BlackBerry said that it sold 600,000 Priv units in its fiscal Q4, missing the 850,000 sales goal that Wall Street had set and a drop from the 700,000 units it sold in the previous quarter. While the Priv is likely outselling BlackBerry’s BB10 hardware, it must be frustrating for BlackBerry to hear about these Priv return rates. Prior to the Priv’s launch, there had been calls for BlackBerry to switch to Android, but now that it has, some BlackBerry loyalists are shying away from the Priv.
Have you bought the BlackBerry Priv?