Friday, October 23, 2015

BlackBerry’s first Android phone may cost more than the best Android phones

Rather than announcing its first Android phone, BlackBerry has taken the odd strategy of just letting every detail about the device leak out and then casually referencing it in an official capacity every now and then.

The latest detail to leak out is the phone's pricing, which apparently comes in at $749. The information was published along with the phone's specs on a preorder page that went up prematurely on BlackBerry's site last night. Android Central caught the listing while it was live, and it says that $749 is the phone's US price, with its Canadian price coming in at $949.

That would make the BlackBerry Priv one very expensive phone, putting it up there with top flagship devices. BlackBerry's reasoning would likely be that it's offering a similarly high-end experience — Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 5.4-inch Quad HD display, and basically the only smartphone keyboard anyone has ever wanted to use — but that's a hard sell when you're coming from so far behind. No one has used a BlackBerry Android device before, and that's a price range that very few companies — really just Apple and sometimes Samsung — have managed to succeed in. For context, the iPhone starts at $649, the Galaxy Note 5 originally sold for anywhere from $696 to $739, and the Nexus 6P — the best Android phone out there — sells for $499.

BlackBerry hasn't set a release date for the Priv just yet, but Android Central reports seeing ads that suggest it could be available for preorder as soon as Friday. It's supposed to go on sale by the end of the year, so BlackBerry ought to announce something soon. Although, at this point, it's entirely possible that the Priv will just appear in a store one day. BlackBerry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.