BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) Launches Priv In Australia Through Optus
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s first Android-based smartphone, Priv, is entering the Australia market. The launch of Priv in Australia follows the same format of its launch in the U.S. – initial exclusive carrier support. In Australia, only Optus will initially carry the handset and the immediate target is business customers.
On Optus, the Priv will initially be offered on postpaid plans for Optus Business customers. Personal users can also get hold of the Priv online by paying for it outright or getting in on a postpaid plan.
Additional U.S. carrier support
When BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) launched Priv in the U.S., it was only supported by AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). However, Priv’s carrier support is set to expand as BlackBerry announced at the 2016 CES event. Verizon Communications, Inc. (NYSE:VZ), T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) and Sprint Corp (NYSE:S) will also be backing the device. BlackBerry and AT&T had a 60-day agreement to keep silent about other carrier availability for Priv. BlackBerry broke its silence at the CES.
If the U.S. Priv launch strategy is any guide, it means that it could only be a matter of time before Australians get Priv on carrier networks other than Optus.
In the U.S., an unlocked Priv retails at $700. However, AT&T customers can own it for just $250 as long as they commit to a two-year contract with the carrier. Australia pricing of Priv wasn’t revealed.
Priv is the first BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) smartphone to run Android, Google’s ubiquitous mobile platform that is also rich with apps. The Priv is a 5.4-inch handset feature OLED screen and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 chipset. The device comes with 32GB of onboard storage that is expandable through a microSD card up to 2TB.
The Priv is equipped with a hybrid keyboard in the sense that there is a virtual keyboard and physical one based sliding back.
Security and productivity
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) touts Priv as a device built for security as much as productivity. Among other things, Priv has its security features built on both hardware and software to ensure enhanced protection against potential breaches. The Android platform opens Priv to a large base of app and makes using the device more meaningful.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is targeting to sell at least 5 million smartphones each year to exit losses in its devices division. If BlackBerry can’t sell 5 million smartphones a year, the company is ready to say goodbye to handsets business.
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