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Blackberry's smartphone business is in Priv's hands

BlackBerry is betting a lot on its latest smartphone, Priv. According to some market analysts, it's the company's final twitch and if it doesn't shake things up, we'll probably see the end of BlackBerry's smartphone business.

Priv is a completely different phone than anything we've seen from BlackBerry so far, as this is the first time the Canadian maker has dropped its own operating system and went for Android.

“We don’t want to be disqualified for reasons of ecosystem,“ said Gareth Hurn, director of device portfolio planning at BlackBerry.

It also has a few innovations in the smartphone market in general, including the slide-down physical keyboard, aimed at business users who dislike the touchscreen keyboards on many modern smartphones.

It also hopes to attract buyers with a powerful battery, lasting some 23 hours, as well as a number of privacy and security features, including a dashboard showing what apps are using the phone’s data and functions.

The phone will cost £560, which is less than some premium devices from companies such as Apple and Samsung.

However, none of this will matter anyway, Financial Times believes, saying Nokia did similar things just before it completely called it quits on the smartphone game.

“This device comes too late to change their fortunes in the handset business,” said Francisco Jeronimo, research director at IDC. “The Priv is not going to do much for BlackBerry. If their sales continue to decline at the current rates, their handset business is definitely over soon.”

Check out our Blackberry Priv hub for everything that businesses need to know about the smartphone.