The recent Stagefright vulnerability in Android led to new expectations for security patches. Google, Samsung, and LG have all said they will work to get monthly security updates out to users, and now Android newcomer BlackBerry is doing the same. The company says buyers of the Priv can expect to get monthly patches, but there are a few caveats.
According to BlackBerry, anyone who buys a Priv from BlackBerry directly will get the security updates as soon as they are ready. The company will roll these out after it gets the monthly security bulletin from Google and before the issues are publicly disclosed. However, a carrier branded phone (whether purchased from the carrier or a third-party) might not get the update right away. The carrier needs to agree to participate in BlackBerry's update program to push through approval of patches quickly. It isn't clear if carriers are down with that.
Because this is BlackBerry, there's business stuff too. Businesses will be able to manage updates via a Blackberry Enterprise Server, allowing IT to test and deploy updates to ensure compatibility. BlackBerry also says it will get hotfix updates out the door in a timely manner should a serious vulnerability be uncovered. It has the ability to directly patch all Priv units regardless of carrier relationships and it will use this ability in the event of a serious security hole.