BlackBerry Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, John Chen, in the company's latest earnings report confirmed that the Priv Android slider smartphone can be expected to be available late in the calendar year in "major markets in-store and online". The Canadian company also confirmed that it will release more details about the handset in the coming weeks. The earnings report had revealed a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, and said it expects 'modest' growth for the next two quarters, with a return to profitability by the fourth quarter of the financial year.
(Also see: Everything we know about BlackBerry Priv)
"I am confirming our plans to launch Priv, an Android device named after BlackBerry's heritage and core mission of protecting our customers' privacy. Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform," said Chen.
The company also revealed updates for its device roadmap for the year which primarily included Priv Android smartphone. Notably, BlackBerry is pitching its first Android smartphone as a flagship slider device.
"The company will launch a flagship slider device, Priv, which will run on the Android operating system, bringing together the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform," notes BlackBerry.
The Canadian company confirmed that it has added support for Android for Work on the BES12 platform offering "best in class" security for enterprise customers. BlackBerry 10 OS will also receive an update focused on security and privacy enhancements, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be released in March 2016.
Based on preliminary leaks and rumours, the Priv (or previously rumoured as Venice ) slider smartphone is said to feature a 5.4-inch QHD (1440x2560 pixels) display, a 1.8GHz hexa-core 64-bit Snapdragon 808 SoC, 3GB of RAM, an 18-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.