11/04/2016 12:27 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Blackberry Set To Launch Two Mid-Range Android Phones This Year

Mark Blinch / Reuters
Blackberry CEO John Chen arrives to their annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo, Canada June 23, 2015. BlackBerry Ltd said on Tuesday its turnaround gained traction as sales at its crucial software segment rose in the first quarter and its broader revenue slide began to ease, sending its shares up 4.3 percent. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Blackberry will launch two mid-range Android phones this year in the range of $300-$400. The company's CEO John Chen has stated in his recent interviews that they need to modify their device strategy to make the company more profitable.

Last year Blackberry ventured into the Android smartphone market with the high-end Blackberry Priv. Despite being lauded in many departments by experts, the phone did not do well especially because of the high price-point of ₹62,999. The phone brought back the classic Blackberry keyboard and slider form and lot of people liked the concept as well.

"We released our Android device just about when the high-end phone market went soft, so that was principally the reason behind the lukewarm response. However, the execution could have been better because I tried to sell these phones through carriers as retail shops," Chen told ET in an interview.

The CEO said they are looking at the affordable markets with two phones this year in $300-$400 range. One of the phones will follow the Blackberry Priv's design language with the slider keyboard format and the other phone will be a full touchscreen phone.

"India is a very important market for us. We lost a lot of ground in India. We want India to be back among the top 10 markets for us. We are also working with government agencies to provide security services," expressed Chan in a talk with the Hindu.

It also seems that Blackberry is not yet giving up on BB10. Even after losing a significant amount of market share they are preparing to launch the next version of their own OS. The lack of applications on the platform has been a real deal-breaker for the Blackberry OS.

The company will have a very tough task ahead. While Samsung is spreading its market with quality phones in each segment, Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, Vivo, and Honor are ruling the mid-range market with multiple offerings. Blackberry has to come up with something very solid in terms of both hardware and software to beat them.

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