BlackBerry released its first smartphone running Google Android software this year, and it’s turned a lot of heads since it also happens to be one of the only high-end Android phones with a physical keyboard to launch this year.
So how’s that working out for the company? Well, BlackBerry’s latest financial results were better than expected and revenues are growing.
But BlackBerry shipped just 700,00 phones during the quarter… which is the lowest number of phones the company has moved since 2007. And how many of those phones were BlackBerry Priv handsets? Not many… I think.
BlackBerry hasn’t reported sales numbers for the Priv yet, but as Android Authority notes there’s one publicly-available tool for making a rough estimate: the Google Play Store.
The company offers a few cross-platform apps such as BlackBerry Messenger which are available for all Android (and iOS) users. But most of BlackBerry’s Android apps only run on the company’s own phones… and right now there’s only one BlackBerry phone.
So if you look at the install numbers for apps like BlackBerry Camera, BlackBerry Hub, and DETEK by BlackBerry you can get an idea of how many people are using the BlackBerry Priv. And that number? Somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000.
Keep in mind, the BlackBerry Priv has been available for less than 2 months and it’s only available in a select countries. The US model also currently only works with AT&T. It’s also possible that the Play Store numbers aren’t entirely accurate.
But so far it doesn’t look like the Priv is a runaway success story for BlackBerry. The mixed reviews the phone received upon launch probably don’t help.
Still, there may be a silver lining: BlackBerry says development costs for this phone have been lower than they would have been for a new phone running BlackBerry OS, because the company didn’t have to spend as much time developing software for the phone. Sure, there are some BlackBerry software features that make the Priv stand out from other Android phones, but the operating system itself is pretty much all Google.