BlackBerry’s first android device arrives Nigeria but it only targets the high end users

After failing to boost mobile phone sales with its carefully produced and highly secured operating system 10, Blackberry last year tried another strategy — joining the android bandwagon — and it may be paying off as the Canadian phone maker has so far recorded respectable sales. Now, it is bringing the phone to android-loving Africans. The phone was available in only four countries at the end of BlackBerry’s third quarter but the company is making it available in another 31 countries in the current quarter.

BlackBerry reported strong sales for PRIV in its fiscal third quarter. Although hard numbers were not given, the release of the PRIV did help BlackBerry push the average selling price to $315 from $240 last quarter.

BlackBerry Limited on Friday (today) announced that PRIV, its first-ever BlackBerry smartphone powered by Android will be available in Nigeria, Africa’s largest consumer market, as of tomorrow through SLOT retail outlets. The phone is listed on the retailer’s website at the cost of N220,000 ($1,104).

While the phone’s quality and security on Android will make it appeal to Nigeria’s teeming android users, the price will raise a red flag, especially coming at a time Nigeria is facing its worst economic crisis in years. However, the phone is coming as one of the most secure android phone ever made. Blackberry is hoping that “PRIV” which takes it name from privacy and privilege will win some phone users, lost over the years to Android and Apple, back, considering the access it now has to Android’s over 1 million apps and as much security as a phone running on the Blackberry 10 operating system.

chart-ww-smartphone-os-market-share

The PRIV combines the best of BlackBerry’s productivity, security and privacy features with the wide world of Google Play store apps. It is packaged in an ultra-thin device – including a dual-curved screen, touch and physical keyboards, state-of-the-art 18MP camera, and long-lasting battery – with unique tools that allow users to manage and control their privacy. The PRIV battery is perfect for Nigeria where residents do not enjoy stable electricity supply. It has a 3410 mAh battery with enough power to work up to 22.5 straight hours of mixed usage (note that many factors affect battery life, including network connectivity, application usage, feature configuration and battery age).

Other features:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor

32 GB of onboard storage and support for micro SD cards up to 2TB

DTEK™ by BlackBerry® app for Android™ which monitors and reports on application access to the microphone, camera, location and personal information.

Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain

The PRIV is also fully supported on BlackBerry’s EMM Solution.

While exclusive apps and dedicated upgrades have come for the PRIV which runs on Android, it does not in any way reduce BlackBerry’s commitment to the BlackBerry 10 operating system. The company says it will continue to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements.