The good news is that the BlackBerry PRIV has pulled BlackBerry away from certain death, but the bad news comes in the form of continued losses for the company. It has just announced its first quarter earnings for 2016 and it spells out a $670 million net loss.
In the first quarter of this year, the company had fallen short of its 850,000 units sales target by selling only 600,000 units. Its has been followed up by sales of only 500,000 units this quarter.
The PRIV didn’t catch on with consumers not because it was incapable, but because it was caught in a tricky position.
It didn’t do enough to attract the attention of existing Android users, which constitute over 80 percent of the smartphone market, probably because of its physical keyboard.
But at the same time it failed to appeal to diehard BlackBerry users because it is not running on BB10. The idea of moving to the Android ecosystem feels pretty weird for a lot of them.
Perhaps the PRIV isn’t the ace BlackBerry has been looking for. Later this year and in 2017 the company is going to release two mid-range devices that also run on Android, and maybe then the physical keyboard would be ditched in order to win over the common phone shopper.