BlackBerry CEO promises two mid-range Androids for 2016

BlackBerry won't give up on Android. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

BlackBerry won’t give up on Android. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

BlackBerry’s switch to Android may not have done much to boost its smartphone sales so far, but the Canadian company isn’t ready to give up yet.

CEO John Chen has promised that BlackBerry has two mid-range Android devices lined up for 2016 — one of which will feature a physical keyboard like the Priv, while the other will be a full-touch device.

Chen has already stated that Android will be the company’s focus for this year, and it seems highly unlikely now that it will ever launch another BB10 device. It actually looked unlikely we’d ever see a new BlackBerry smartphone of any kind just a few days ago.

But BlackBerry will fight to save its smartphone business. It has already cut the price tag of the Priv in an effort to appeal to more customers, and now Chen has confirmed that BlackBerry has new devices up its sleeve that will serve the midrange market.

Chen did not say when exactly these devices would be available, but according to Gadgets 360, he did say they would be priced at around $300-$400. He also confirmed one would have a physical keyboard, while the other wouldn’t.

This was BlackBerry’s approach with BB10; alongside keyboard-equipped handsets like the Q10 and the Classic, which appeal to long-time fans who prefer physical keys, the company offered full-touch devices like the Z10 and the Z30.

Chen also admitted that Priv “was too high-end a product” for some, including enterprise customers, which are mostly BlackBerry’s target audience. Even with the price cut to $649, not many companies will be willing to spend that kind of money on phones.