BlackBerry Ltd. announced its Android Slider smartphone last Friday but it seems that the firm is sailing into uncharted waters in its romance with the Android OS. Rumors, leaks, and hints about the Android phone has filled the tech space since March and the firm has teased buyers as much as it can about the phone. In the release of the firms Q2 2016 earnings last Friday, the firm revealed the Android slider smartphone call Priv.
CEO John Chen says, “I am confirming our plans to launch Priv, an Android device named after BlackBerry’s heritage and core mission of protecting our customers’ privacy. Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform”. John goes on to mention how he expects “from these initiatives, modest sequential revenue growth in the remaining quarters of fiscal 2016”.
Android might be Alien to BlackBerry
The first sign that BlackBerry ‘s romance with the Android OS is a marriage of strange bedfellows is seen today as John Chen tried to show off the new Priv smartphone in an awkward TV interview. In the interview, John Chen said that the device was running on Google as opposed to saying that it was running Android OS.
The interview then turned sourer as Chen found it hard to use the phone. He tried opening chrome, but it was slow to respond; and then he closed the app when he noticed that the device was not logged on to Google.
Chen did not waste time to inform viewers that Priv has ““the latest specs, literally the latest Qualcomm specs, and the cameras and other good stuff.” It seems that Chen is proud of the slider keyboard and he notes that it is excellent for “reading big email”.
The Jury is still out on Priv
The fact that John Chen can’t seem to get the name of the OS on which its device is running raises serious questions about the firm’s readiness to dance with Android. Of course, the fact that John Chen can’t seem to understand Priv doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire BlackBerry workforce are clueless about the firm’s Android push.
Yet, it raises important questions about how well the firm can play with Android. The market should be able to judge for itself if BlackBerry has done a good job with Android when Priv finally makes it to the market by the end of this year.