BlackBerry CEO Fumbles Video Demo Of Make-or-Break Priv Android Slider

It's official, BlackBerry is planning to launch an Android handset called Priv (codenamed Venice). BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed the rampant rumor in a statement accompanying the Canadian outfit's financial report (PDF) for its fiscal 2016 second quarter, though he may want to familiarize himself with the handset between now and when it releases to retail.

Mr. Chen granted Business News Network's Amber Kanwar a worldwide exclusive first look at the upcoming phone by way of a video interview, but instead of showing off the Priv (short for Privacy) and drumming up excitement for the device, he may have inadvertently gave BlackBerry users cause for concern as he struggled with the interface.

BlackBerry Priv

It was an awkward demonstration, to say the least, though let's be fair about the situation. Mr. Chen is the boss of BlackBerry, so it stands to reason that he would be intimately familiar with his company's own operating system and less so with Android. However, the criticism is partially self-inflicted, as it also stands to reason that Mr. Chen would familiarize himself with the Priv before demonstrating the handset.

"So obviously it runs Google," Mr. Chen began, though he would have been better served by saying it runs Android. Whatever, he was on the right track. But then he tried to fire up Chrome, which took several tap attempts.

Is the Priv's touchscreen display is problematic? It's way too early to jump to that kind of conclusion, but when Chrome did finally fire up, Mr. Chen discovered that the demo device he was using hadn't been setup yet -- oops!


Mr. Chen was obviously a little flustered at this point, though he recovered by turning the conversation away from Android and to the system specs. He also gave a look at the slide-out keyboard.

This wasn't a disastrous demo, though the next time Mr. Chen decides to show off a BlackBerry device, he may want to go through a test run or two beforehand.

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