The BlackBerry Priv will soon debut on Verizon as the handset visits the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
BlackBerry CEO John Chen announced the company's first Android-powered smartphone - the BlackBerry Priv - in September 2015. Pre-order for the slider handset started in October and shipping began in November. However, at launch the BlackBerry was exclusive to AT&T users in the U.S.
The Priv sports top-end specifications such as a 5.4-inch AMOLED screen with a display resolution of 1,440 x 2,560 pixels. A 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor and 3GB of RAM powers the device. It comes preinstalled with the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system.
The Blackberry offering includes an 18MP primary camera and a 2MP selfie camera. It has a 3410mAh battery and 32GB of internal storage. With the help of the microSD card customers can also increase its memory capacity to 2TB.
The BlackBerry Priv has attracted BlackBerry device lovers who have waited to experience Android on their BlackBerry smartphones. Being an AT&T exclusive, however, means that many people have not tried the device yet.
A Crackberry report suggests that the BlackBerry Priv has reached FCC and is just waiting for approval, so BlackBerry fans who want to buy the Priv but do not want to switch carriers will be able to use the mobile phone on Verizon soon.
A Verizon version of the BlackBerry Priv should not come as a surprise as in November 2015, Verizon itself confirmed via a tweet that the Priv is "coming soon" to its network.
- Verizon News (@VerizonNews) November 6, 2015
On Dec. 18, Chen announced BlackBerry's financial results for the three months ended Nov. 28. He also hinted that the BlackBerry Priv will be made available to other carriers around the world.
"Our new PRIV device has been well received since its launch in November, and we are expanding distribution to additional carriers around the world in the next several quarters," says Chen in a press release.
The total BlackBerry smartphone sales volume during the quarter was 700,000. Even though the Canadian company did not reveal the number of BlackBerry Priv devices included in the figure, it is likely that a major chunk of the handsets sold in the quarter was the latest slider phone.
In a press conference following the release of the Q3 earnings report, Chen was asked about the margins and pricing of the BlackBerry Priv during the handset's lifecycle. Chen's response hinted that the company is planning to reduce the price of the Priv soon.
"We do have some unique features at PRIV, as being well-received especially in the security world, in the privacy world. But we obviously won't fool ourselves to expect that they will continue to maintain the high prices that we could get today," said Chen.
Currently, BestBuy is selling the unlocked version of the Priv at a price tag of $699.99. It remains to be seen if the launch of the BlackBerry Priv on Verizon will also be accompanied with a price reduction.