John Chen of BlackBerry says they have to sell 5 million PRIVs or else

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Touting privacy as a selling point for years, BlackBerry’s brand might be dangerously hanging off a very small edge with their revenues continually sliding. When asked about the company’s prospects by the Verge during the recent Code Mobile conference, their CEO said that failing to reach 5 million units sold, the company might abandon the mobile business.

We’ve seen the falling of giants before, with Nokia first coming to mind but the physical QWERTY keyboard loving manufacturer has felt change was needed. Thus, the BlackBerry PRIV was envisioned, it’s first Android device. BB10 software was left out to see if this change would revitalise the brand but the PRIV did still include some signature security tech, as the devices namesake is also drawn from the word “privacy”.

Posting their recent financial quarter results, the manufacturer only managed to sell 800,000 phones, an underwhelming number by a long shot. PRIV’s security that’s quoted to match Samsung’s Knox will still have some advantages according to Chen; battery technology, antenna technology and a physical slide out keyboard, along with other enticing specs.

The CEO also refused to say that BB10 will cease to exist if the PRIV takes flight and sells well. Their secure OS is often seen in high-risk business settings, similar to those in the public sector. Getting these same individuals to purchase the latest BlackBerry offering and move over to the new setting will be tough; migration aside, it isn’t common to waltz into a telco or carrier’s store and be able to purchase a BlackBerry device in the US.

As the new smartphone runs Android, carriers are more open to picking it up for their stores. As such the CEO has been busy reaching out to them to sell the Android slider. He adds that carriers have responded positively, citing that staff familiarity with the OS would help when it comes to customer interactions.

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If BlackBerry’s run finally came to an end, would it make a difference in your life? Let us know in the comments below.

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