BlackBerry, the name that was once synonymous with smartphones, will launch its first Android-powered smartphone - Priv - in India on January 28.
The Priv is another attempt by the struggling Canadian company to stay relevant in a market dominated by phones running on Google's Android and Apple's iPhones. The phone Banks on BlackBerry's legendary security and positions itself as "the secure smartphone powered by Android".
The phone comes with a 5.4-inch display and is powered by a 1.8 GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 3 GB RAM and 32 GB of internal memory (expandable by up to 2 TB). The single SIM 4G phone runs Android and sports an 18 megapixel rear and 2 megapixel front camera with 3,410 mAh battery.
The move will also help BlackBerry cash in on the app-rich ecosystem of Android, the lack of which has been an area of complain for many BlackBerry users in the past. The Priv went on sale in the US and Canada in November last year.
The phone boasts an impressive array of features and a hefty price tag. Priv was priced at $699 in the US (about Rs 47,000) and could be priced around that in India.
BlackBerry has also hinted the company may soon unveil another Android phone this year.
The company is betting the Priv's large curved screen, full array of Android apps from the Google Play store and blend of productivity and security features will help it rebuild its share of the smartphone market, which has slid to under one per cent.
With hacking and data theft issues becoming a bigger concern these days, BlackBerry expects keen interest in its pre-loaded DTEK feature that alerts users every time any app attempts to access data, or turn on the phone's microphone or camera.
BlackBerry is hoping its sleek design and touch-sensitive keys that allows users to swipe, scroll and set up shortcuts will woo former loyalists back to using the Priv.
Blackberry is pivoting to focus more on software and device management services but has said it will stick with hardware if the segment is profitable.