BlackBerry To Launch Two 2016 Android Flagship Phones, One Coming With Physical Keyboard

BlackBerry Priv would be the first Android-powered smartphones launched with almost 80% of its own hardware keys except the mobile operating system last year, and the Canada-based manufacturer is although popular in producing smartphones with QWERTY keyboards and this time around in 2016, Blackberry CEO John Chen said in an interview to The National during his visit to Abu Dhabi. “BlackBerry plans to launch two mid-range Android handsets this year, one with a physical keyboard and one with a full touchscreen“. Not only that, but also admitted that the previous BlackBerry Android phone “was too high-end product”, with its target market of enterprise customers.

Blackberry is reportedly switching focus to mid-range handsets

The man behind BlackBerry products also talked about the introduction of new budget-friendly smartphones priced around $300 to $400. He believes that BlackBerry may compete with the low-end phones in this market this year. In India, BlackBerry’s flaghsip smartphones would go on sale at Rs 20,000 / Rs 26,700 approximately. Well! The time will decide whether it can become a true rival to other competitors and OEMs in the market or not in the upcoming days.

The two new BlackBerry’s upcoming Android-powered smartphones in midg-range are codenamed “Hamburg” with full touchscreen, and another “Rome” with somewhat physical keyboard and touch sensitive display. These are expected to debut in autumn and by the end of this year.

Update x1: BlackBerry remains committed to India.  According to an interview to Economic Times, John said:

India at one time was quite a big market for us. Over the years, things have changed. I am here to meet our people, partners, and the government. Also to see the market and come with a better idea and information about how we invest back into the market.

India is going to be a booming economy, especially the SME (small and medium enterprises) model, which is going to be big. All of the policies of the government are aimed at lifting people and providing more opportunities, which are mainly SME based.

We passed danger. We have a strategy, and are now putting people and infrastructure together to execute the strategy. We picked 10 countries right now, including India, to go beyond main markets such as US, Canada, UK and Germany where we have always been in. It needs patience, but we are committed.

How excited are you knowing about mid-range BlackBerry-made Android smartphones upcoming?

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