BlackBerry Ltd , has finally put out a short promo for its next big smart phone the BlackBerry Priv. The device will be the first model from the firm that runs Android, and it’s the latest hope to save hardware from the Waterloo, Ontario concern.
There’s two main features that people will be looking at once the Priv is in stores. The first, and likely most important, is the keyboard which slides in behind the main body of the phone. That’s a stylistic touch that went out of fashion a long time ago, but BlackBerry seems sure that users are still looking for a hard keyboard. The second is, of course, the version of Android that the device is running.
Looking at the BlackBerry Priv
Here’s a look at the footage that BlackBerry sent out on Friday afternoon:
The footage is really just a short preview of a user with their hands on the BlackBerry Priv and, though the phone looks like it works really well, it’s not all that clear what the wow factor is supposed to be.
For those that love BlackBerry, a piece of quality Canadian hardware running Android may be the greatest single thing to behold. For most of the world, however, the iPhone still rules the premium category and it’s going to be difficult to move that particular yardstick.
BlackBerry, despite the promo released on Friday, still hasn’t let anyone know about the price of the Priv, or when it will hit shelves.
BlackBerry buries the lede
It’s not clear why BlackBerry Ltd thought that Friday evening was the perfect time to debut the first real ad for the Priv, but that’s just what the firm has done. Given the lack of sales in its hardware division in recent years, and the turn away from hardware among the firm’s leadership, the Priv is yet another last chance for the firm to prove itself.
So far, despite the apparent quality of the hardware in the Priv and the demand that might be out there for a secure Android phone, BlackBerry doesn’t seem to have perfected the art of selling the device.
When John Chen first showed it off in full he fumbled with the Android OS. The marketing for the Priv doesn’t really live up to the sense of security that BlackBerry is trying to convey, and the Friday evening promo doesn’t exactly scream sound strategy.
BlackBerry is a great firm, and its fans know that it still builds really great hardware. The problem, for the time being, is getting the rest of the world to realize how great that hardware really is. The Passport didn’t help that effort with its odd screen, and BlackBerry’s odd route toward the release of the Priv likely isn’t helping its future.
That doesn’t mean that BlackBerry hardware is doomed, but it’s not likely that its handsets will lead it out of the current malaise. That, as CEO John Chen has made very clear, is a job for the firm’s software business, something that may get a little more focus once the launch of the Priv is over.