While we’re quite fond of the PRIV and its software customizations on top of Android, BlackBerry sold fewer than expected devices last quarter. To remedy the situation, BlackBerry (via Re/Code) is announcing a permanent $50 price cut to the device.
The off-contract price of the device will fall to $649. At launch, the PRIV was priced slightly higher than competing flagship Android devices and the discount will put it on par with other phones. On BlackBerry’s official store and Best Buy, the price cut has already taken effect, though its list place remains the same on Amazon and other US carriers. Due to the nature of carrier pricing, it’s unlikely that most consumers will see an impact.
BlackBerry will work to expand device availability to more carriers and countries after only selling 600,000 devices last quarter. The company previously set a goal of selling 3 million devices a year to keep the hardware business profitable. Otherwise, BlackBerry might fully abandon its hardware business and stick to software and services.
The PRIV has a 5.4-inch 2560×1440 display and uses a Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage expandable via microSD. It has a large 3410 mAh battery and an 18MP rear facing camera. BlackBerry just announced a Marshmallow beta program for the PRIV with a full rollout by late April/early May.