BlackBerry revealed in a blog post that on Wednesday a popular online tech magazine Tom’s Guide has announced the ‘first secure android smartphone BlackBerry Priv’ as the winner of its 2016 Smartphone Madness Competition.
“PRIV won the final round of Smartphone Madness, capturing 69% of the vote,” the report said. “That was enough to propel BlackBerry’s first Android phone past the Alcatel Idol 4 and 4S, which finished with 31 percent. The finals completed a dominant run by the PRIV, which never got less than 69% of the vote in its four match-ups against other top devices.”
However, the company is planning to globally slash down the prices of the smartphone permanently. After getting a price cut of $50 (~Rs.3,300), the handset will be sold at a price of $649 (~Rs. 43,000). The company explains that due to a faded response it will slashing down the price.
“As we noted in our review of the phone, the PRIV brought a more modern Android OS to the features that helped BlackBerry dominate the smartphone world prior to the iPhone’s arrival – a slide-out physical keyboard, robust productivity apps, and strong security,” it further added.
The company believes that their Priv android smartphone hasn’t done well in the India market and as a result rumors started coming out in light, which suggest that BlackBerry might halt the smartphone production. While, Jhon Chen, BlackBerry CEO squashed them on his India visit and said the company will launch an Android phone, priced in the range from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 26,000.
“You would probably see more on the mid-price range, which is usually around $300-400. I doubt that BlackBerry can compete on the low end in this market,” said Chen.
Explaining why the Priv handset didn’t perform well in market, he said, “Currently, we just talk about Priv. It’s expensive, because it has no family. Normally, companies release more than one device. But we need to ensure that we don’t build too many phones, while extending our distribution channel,”
Talking about the Indian smartphone market, Chen said that India is a key country for the company’s next phase of revival. Hence, it would patiently invest in rebuilding the team, distribution network and on reviving its enterprise ties in India.
In a conference call last week, he said that the company is working to expand distribution of the Priv this quarter to new countries and carriers. In addition, the firm would target to sell around three million units in a year to make the unit profitable.