After a dismal first quarter with only about 600 000 devices sold, BlackBerry CEO John Chen has stated that the company will be focussing on two new Android-powered devices to be released before the end of the year. One device will have a physical keyboard and one device will be full touchscreen, Chen told The National.

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The company had decided to focus more on mid-range smartphones after admitting that the BlackBerry Priv was priced too high and therefore inaccessible for its customers. The numbers speak for themselves – its sales of 600 000 for the first three months of 2016 ending in March, is well below the 850 000 which was forecasted. By refocussing on two mid-range Android-powered devices, the company hopes to regain a grip on the smartphone market after it has been steadily slipping the last few years.

Chen admitted that the company made a mistake in attempting to release a high-end smartphone as its first Android-powered BlackBerry.

The fact that we came out with a high end phone [as our first Android device] was probably not as wise as it should have been.

Since I started at the company [in November 2013] I’ve been saying I’ll make the handset business profitable. If I can’t make it profitable because the market won’t let me, then I’ll get out of the handset business.

I love our handset business, but we need to make money

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