After the Blackberry PRIV didn’t do as well as they’d hoped, Blackberry’s CEO John Chen said that perhaps it wasn’t a very wise decision, to release such a high-priced phone as their first foray into the (already-crowded) Android space. When I reviewed it, I noted that it was an excellent, but over-priced phone, and that fact may hurt their chances of selling 5 million units by the end of the year.
As a band-aid, John Chen said that they would release a few more phones – this time, in the mid-range, and hopefully, that can turn their mobile division around and even make it profitable again. Two weeks ago, we first caught whispers of two phones in Blackberry’s goody bag – Hamburg, and Rome.
Back then, there was little or no physical evidence to support the rumours, but I was just on Pocket Lint when I found a few leaked images of the full touch-screen Hamburg, and the Rome with its physical keyboard, like the PRIV. We suspect that both phones will be priced in the $400 – $500 range (which stops looking very mid-range when you consider today’s USD – NGN rates). Still better priced than the $700 Priv though. Here’s what they look like:
If Blackberry can deliver as good an Android phone as the PRIV (minus the heating issues), and peg it at $400-$500, then I think they’re on to something. It’s not a magic fix to make the pain go away, but it’s a good start to clawing back some market share in the crowded smartphone space.