The rate at which Blackberry phones has been performing poorly indicates that after spending years to develop an in-house BlackBerry OS that will be competitive with Android and iOS, the venture has failed. Even the much talked about Blackberry ‘Venice’, that eventually got the brand name Priv could not save the day.
In April Blackberry reported selling 600,000 phones in its fiscal fourth quarter that ended February 29, well below expectations of 850,000 for the quarter — and below the 700,000 it sold in the preceding quarter. Still, BlackBerry insisted that the company was still on the path to profitability this year.[irp]
T-Mobile which joined AT&T early this year, making it the second US carrier to be selling the BlackBerry Priv have deciding to drop the device: By all accounts, it looks like the Uncarrier has unfriended Waterloo’s offering, as the Priv is no longer listed on T-Mobile’s website, according to Android Authority.
A reply from T-Mobile via twitter to a customers inquiry further confirmed that the carrier “currently” does not sell BlackBerry’s Android smartphone through its website. This suggest they may have it in future but time will tell.
— T-Mobile Help (@TMobileHelp) June 6, 2016
It reported that, not only has the Priv disappeared but one should follow a manual link to the product page, they will be merely greeted with a blank, generic “BlackBerry” listing page. This confirms that fact that T-Mobile doesn’t have any other BlackBerry products to offer.[irp]
The news comes just days after a report surfaced which indicated a high-level AT&T executive described the BlackBerry Priv as “really struggling”. Said executive also told CNET that AT&T has been seeing “more returns than [it]would like”. Given the well documented trouble with the Priv’s sales this shouldn’t come as a surprise, either, however it is clear there is trouble brewing on more than one front.
You will agree with me that the biggest factor that made the Blackberry Priv to perform poorly is it’s high cost, with a market entering price of $700 last year as against other brands like Samsung which can boost of similar specs, if not more and goes for lesser price.
The price may be linked to that fact that, the Slider phone implemented a number of features that are businesses like, including verified boot, BES12, and a hardened Linux kernel. However, it’s not dramatically more secure than other Android devices, and that’s not the kind of thing that will attract a lot of buyers anyway.
All said and done, the future of BlackBerry’s phones hangs in a balance. CEO John Chen said in October that the company would exit the phone business, which has been on life support for years, if it cannot turn a profit in 2016.
BlackBerry also has planned to continue with its Android strategy. In January, Chen said he expected one — and potentially two — devices this year running on Google’s software. Though it has reaffirmed it’s support, the Waterloo company isn’t investing in hardware powered by the BlackBerry operating system.
Time is ticking for the Priv device to keep afloat. What do you think? Is Blackberry poor performance just the latest in a string of problems for the Priv or do you feel the device has been misunderstood by the market? Leave a comment below!