The latest flagship smartphone from BlackBerry, the Android-based PRIV, has drawn mixed opinions since it was officially announced. Anyone who isn’t necessarily a tech enthusiast may not have even noticed that there’s a new BlackBerry phone available. The PRIV however is widely considered the device that will either save BlackBerry or lead to its last breath. This week John Legere, T-Mobile’s CEO, says he believes the Canadian smartphone company is on its way back up.
The statement was made in a very short interview with Roger Cheng from CNET, playing a word association game. Upon the questions “BlackBerry”, he responded with “On a comeback”.
Perhaps most interesting about the words Legere chose was that T-Mobile and BlackBerry renewed their relationship recently after a public separation in 2014. During the break T-Mobile actually encouraged its customers to trade in old BlackBerry phones for a new smartphone, usually one from Apple or Samsung. Furthermore, T-Mobile doesn’t yet have the BlackBerry PRIV for sale, but that is expected to change in the near future:
As CNET recently reported:
“While we don’t carry the Priv right now, we may have something to report soon”, a T-Mobile spokeswoman said. “We are definitely talking with BlackBerry”.
BlackBerry was evidently pretty pleased with the support from the T-Mobile chief. “I’m energized about our renewed relationship with T-Mobile and I’m excited about what 2016 will bring we continue to move forward together”, CEO John Chen said in an e-mail.
Currently, only AT&T sells the BlackBerry PRIV, though it’s expected that Verizon will start selling it soon. By the new year however, there may be at least three US mobile operators selling the Android-based PRIV.
It certainly seems that T-Mobile and BlackBerry are keen to collaborate again. The only phone made by BlackBerry offered by T-Mobile today is the Classic – a year-old mid range BB10 based smartphone. The PRIV however is a completely different beast – it’s a flagship device competing with smartphones like the Note 5, the LG G4, and many others from the company.
As it stands, John Legere is certainly one of the minority who sees BlackBerry as on the way up, rather than on the way out…
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.