BlackBerry has announced that its first Android smartphone, the PRIV, will be available in South Africa from 1 February 2016.
First unveiled in September 2015, and launched in the US and UK in November, the PRIV represents a major departure from the norm for BlackBerry.
While it boasts BlackBerry’s usual commitment to security and privacy, the PRIV does not run a BlackBerry mobile operating system.
Instead, the software on the phone is built on Google’s Android operating system.
The slider phone is punted as a “solution for smartphone users who are learning daily of the lack of privacy they have on their current devices”.
“PRIV will be the answer for former BlackBerry users who miss the physical keyboard but needed apps,” said BlackBerry CEO John Chen.
BlackBerry’s launch partners in South Africa will set their own launch dates and pricing, with Cell C, MTN, and Vodacom confirmed to offer the device.
MTN said it will carry the PRIV from 1 February, available on a myMTN Choice 100 package for R519 per month. The deal includes 500MB and 200 SMS, said MTN SA.
Vodacom said it will confirm pricing closer to the launch.
BlackBerry is still in discussions with Telkom about launching the PRIV on its network.
The specifications of the PRIV are summarised in the table below.
|Dimensions||147 (184 opened) x 77.2 x 9.4 mm|
|Operating system||Android 5.1.1 Lollipop|
|Display||5.4″ QHD (1,440 x 2,560)|
|Processor||1.8GHz hexa-core Snapdragon 808|