News by Josh Dasey on Thursday December 10, 2015.
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We are led to believe that the BlackBerry Priv has been a success since launching last month, although BlackBerry has yet to reveal specific sales figures. The company's Android running flagship handset will also be getting an extra boost through the Christmas period as the Priv is now available in Walmart, the largest retailers in the United States.The device is the same unlocked version sold by BlackBerry in the U.S., meaning the only two retail companies to sell the handset in the country are Walmart and carrier AT&T. As you probably known by now, the Priv is not an affordable handset and will be sold via Walmart for $699.
We like everything we have seen and heard about the Priv. It looks elegant, has market leading flagship specs, comes with unique features (security, QWERTY keyboard, etc.) and of course arrives with the Android platform. It is a tour de force in many ways and the overall package is in line with handsets that do cost this kind of money. The problem is, BlackBerry is losing the race against other manufacturers, and many suggest that the Priv is the last roll of the proverbial dice. We do not necessarily subscribe to that prediction, but nevertheless BlackBerry is asking consumers to take a leap of faith to come back to the company. With a ultra-high price tag, that leap looks increasingly perilous and we imagine while many will covet the Priv, most will be unwilling to part with that amount of money for a piece of hardware that they may see as unproven next to some other industry heavyweights. AT&T is attempting to soften the financial blow through its Next plans, which if nothing else break down that high cost into easier to read chunks ($24.67 per month on the Next 24 plan, $30.84 with the Next 18 plan, or $37 on the Next 12 plan). As for the handset itself, as we said, it's a tour de force. The priv features a 5.4-inch curved touchscreen that can be elegantly slid out of the way to reveal a full QWERTY deck, which is BlackBerry's hallmark of course. What has struck us about the device is just how slender it is considering its hidden keyboard, while we are excited about the sheer performance of a handset that sports bleeding edge specs (Quad HD screen, 3GB of RAM, you know the stuff we're talking about).
Josh is our European editor, tackling news events, reviews, and new items from his UK home. As a former HTC marketing employee, Josh is close to the industry and bring his experience to MobileBurn.