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article imageBlackBerry confirms it is making an Android phone

By James Walker     Sep 25, 2015 in Technology
BlackBerry CEO John Chen today confirmed the company is working on an Android phone to go on sale sometime later this year. Although details are still scant, the phone, previously known as "Venice," will be sold as the BlackBerry Priv.
The Verge reports that the announcement was made during the company's second quarter earnings call today. Priv will become BlackBerry's flagship slider device and is intended to start fuelling revenue growth from the last quarters of this financial year.
Priv will be vital to an increasingly pressured BlackBerry. Today, company shares fell by 7 percent as it reported a major second-quarter loss with revenue of $490 million, a 46.5 percent decline over last year. Analysts had been expecting $605.3 million but Chen said he remains "confident" that the company's current strategy, helped by its new Android phone, will make it possible to start generating growth over the next few months.
Chen was not forthcoming with Priv hardware specifications or features. This is to be expected as the announcement was made primarily to reassure investors. However, it isn't hard to work out what the phone will be like as complete images of the phone leaked online months ago.
Priv, formerly known by its codename "Venice", will be a slider-phone featuring a full-QWERTY keypad like the popular BlackBerrys of old. The keyboard will be covered by a large, 5.4-inch Quad-HD touchscreen that curves towards the edges in a manner reminiscent of Samsung's Edge displays.
Inside, the phone will feature a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor running at 1.8GHz. The rear camera will have a competitive 18-megapixel sensor with a dual-LED flash while the front gets a 5MP selfie-shooter.
The phone is expected to run Android 5.0 Lollipop, although it could well be upgraded to 6.0 Marshmallow before launch. With the company's reputation on the line, BlackBerry will almost certainly make sure Priv gets the update at some point in the future whether it is before or after consumers get their hands on the new phone.
Regardless of the Android version it runs, BlackBerry is also baking in some extra security features that come from the company's own work in enterprise technologies. The interface may resemble stock Android but BlackBerry says it also includes "the best of BlackBerry security and productivity."
Additionally, the company is remaining committed to its own proprietary BlackBerry 10 operating system. It will continue to release new phones running the software and is already working on future updates. Version 10.3.3 is expected to make its way to users in March 2016.
More about Blackberry, Android, Priv, blackberry priv, blackberry venice
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