Two Blackberry Android smartphones are coming later this year, part of the company’s continued efforts to find a niche in the current tech landscape. John Chen, chief executive at Blackberry, made the announcement on Monday.
Blackberry cut the price of its $700 PRIV smartphone, also an Android device, in April in order to try to offset lower-than-expected sales. Chen said that getting into the smartphone market with a high-end device might not have been a good idea for the company, and that they hope to find more success with mid-range devices. Pricing for the new phones haven’t been announced, but Chen said that enterprise customers have expressed interest in a $400 handset.
Chen emphasized that people go to Blackberry for security, telling The National in the United Arab Emirates that “We’re the only people who really secure Android.”
One of the new handsets will have a physical keyboard, while the other will have a touchscreen. The exact date at which they are expected to be available is still unknown.
Facebook distanced itself from Blackberry last month when it announced that the social media site and the associated messaging app Whatsapp would no longer be supported on Blackberry.
This might not hurt Blackberry in another particular niche, the enterprise space: once known as a business device, Blackberries might still be useful for business owners and employees who want security without needing the social functions of the more expensive iPhone.