Rumours abound that BlackBerry has another Android phone in the works. Pictures of this new device surfaced on CrackBerry.com over the past week and the story broke on Nov. 11 in a Tech Times article by Dave Calpito.
If these pictures are accurate, the new device returns to the classic BlackBerry design with a fixed keyboard, abandoning the new “slider” keyboard on its first Android offering – the BlackBerry Priv.
The new Vienna looks like a rethink of the BlackBerry Passport. It’s slimmer and rectangular rather than square. From the look of it, it will be a little taller to accommodate the keyboard. But it has a similar solid look. It also appears to offer a range of colours.
Pictures show a front and back camera, although without specs for these we have no idea if the camera will be as exceptional as the Priv, which is one of the best in the market right now. The pictures also show what some say is a mono speaker near the top of the pole.
BlackBerry has not confirmed or denied the rumours of this new device but John Chen has earlier indicated that BlackBerry intended to produce a range of Android devices.
With so little known about the device and no confirmation from BlackBerry this is little more than speculation. The amazing thing is that there is some serious effort in the press spent chasing a mere rumour of another Android device out of Waterloo. All of this comes on the heels of the extremely successful Priv release. Sales of the Priv have been reported as strong, although we’ve yet to see any official numbers, the Priv did sell out on Amazon on Nov. 6 and even today, there are limited numbers of the phone up for sale on Amazon.com.
But the real earth-shaking news is that I showed the Priv to my son and he said it was “sexy.” This is the same kid who turned down the offer of an earlier BlackBerry saying he’d rather keep his broken phone than use a BlackBerry – even temporarily. Forget the new device. Forget the sales numbers. When someone under 25 says “wow” when they see a BlackBerry – that’s news.
Has BlackBerry got it’s mojo back? It will take more than one successful device launch. Handsets are peripheral (sorry I couldn’t avoid that pun). Security and an agnostic approach to device management and secure messaging are supposedly new core of the business. But in the world of mobile technology, it’s still the handset that generates the “buzz.” No one camps out to get a new Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution. So the fact that rumours of a new phone have attracted so much interest is a great sign for the new BlackBerry.