BlackBerry launched its first Android phone, the PRIV in late 2015. While the company's smartphone losses have slowed, the PRIV's high price is proving to be a barrier to BlackBerry's comeback (even with that price cut the other day). CEO John Chen now says that BlackBerry will shift to the mid-range this year with two new phones.
The core of BlackBerry's business is the enterprise, but Chen says the company has been hearing from its partners that the PRIV is just too expensive to deploy en masse. Even with volume discounts, the $700 price tag (now $650) is tough to swallow. Meanwhile, mid-range phones are getting very good, so BlackBerry wants to compete in that space to improve its sales.
According to Chen, one of the phones will have a hardware keyboard and the other will be a full touch device. We don't know anything else about the features or when they will go on sale, but Chen did say the price would be $300-400.