BlackBerry will be moving back into the mid-range smartphone market in order to appeal to enterprise customers who were unable to justify the Priv's $700 retail price.
John Chen, the company's CEO, has revealed that BlackBerry is planning to release two mid-range Android smartphones during 2016. One will include a physical keyboard to appease fans of the company's iconic handsets and the other will sport a full touchscreen to appeal towards consumers who have adopted the modern smartphone form factor.
BlackBerry announced last week that it had only sold 600,000 handsets since January which is significantly less than the 850,000 that many analysts had been forecasting. BlackBerry has also yet to release the sales data regarding how many Privs were actually sold since the device's launch in November of 2015.
Chen regrets that the company's first Android phone was a flagship device priced out of the reach for many enterprise customers. A $400 Android smartphone from BlackBerry might have made a bigger impact on sales and the company is aiming to recapture that share of the market with the two mid-range devices it releases this year.
BlackBerry was able to take the security features that made its handsets so popular among enterprise users and implement them successfully on the Android platform. Chen believes that his company is the only handset manufacturer that is able to truly make Google's Android a secure platform.
Hopefully the two mid-range smartphones BlackBerry releases in 2016 will be able to make the company's top-notch security and devices more accessible for more users.