BlackBerry PRIV QWERTY Slider Won’t Receive Android 6.0 Marshmallow Until 2016
Google's latest Android OS, Marshmallow, has been out for an entire month. You might think, then, that any device from this point forward to hit the market will feature it right out-of-the-gate. Of course, that's not the case. In an ideal world, that's how things would play out, but when so much effort is needed to prepare an OS for the launch of a new device, it's virtually impossible for a company to upgrade at the last minute to the latest hotness. The best they can do, then, is aim at getting an update out as soon as possible.
That's BlackBerry's intent. The company has just launched its latest high-end smartphone, called PRIV, which ships with Lollipop 5.1.1. According to the company, there's no chance that we'll see a 6.0 update before the end of the year; instead, it'll drop "sometime in the new year". That's an awfully broad statement, but it does seem likely that we could see it before the end of Q1.
Given the BlackBerry's PRIV importance to the company - it hasn't had a phone prove to be a major success in far too long - it's interesting that the buzz around it is a bit timid. Part of that could owe to the fact that it's far from being an affordable smartphone - it costs a healthy $699.
Fortunately for BlackBerry, PRIV does bring a lot with it to the table. That of course includes the hardware keyboard, but also high-performance components and also an unparalleled commitment to security. That latter point is where the name "PRIV" comes from; as in "privacy". Given that the overall price will be the limiting factor for most people, BlackBerry could do well to release a scaled-down $400 model. Especially in an age when so many are taking privacy and security seriously, a phone like that could actually prove to be a huge success.