BlackBerry CEO John Chen took a huge risk with the Priv by opting to power the handset with Google’s Android OS, instead of the BlackBerry 10 OS -- known for its security and privacy. However, the company has apparently not ditched the BB 10 OS altogether.
At the CES 2016 event, BlackBerry has been focusing on self-driving cars, consumer healthcare apps and most importantly, possible carrier support for the Priv, which is expected to hit the store shelves of 31 countries.
The Canadian tech giant’s official blog update, specific to CES 2016, says BlackBerry 10 OS is "far from" dead, even though the company is shifting its energies towards other interesting opportunities. Plus, BlackBerry 10 powered devices like the Passport, Classic and others will reportedly start receiving security and privacy enhancements in 2016.
With the new OS version under development, BlackBerry said that "the coming version 10.3.3 will be certified for NIAP compliance, meaning it will have passed the strictest government-grade security tests, enabling us to further support our government and regulated customers who use BlackBerry 10 devices and demand the highest levels of security."
In addition to BlackBerry 10.3.3 OS, the company is also working on BlackBerry 10.3.4, which should be released sometime towards the end of this year with security optimizations. The blog post clearly points out that the Canadian tech giant is committed to building devices with both BlackBerry 10 and Android OSes.
On the other hand, Chen acknowledged during a CES interview that the BlackBerry Priv’s sales is strong and he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the future. However, the company will make a second Android device only after judging Priv’s performance and demand across the globe.
Following the release in November 2015, Chen has now confirmed that a second Android handset can be expected in 2016, thanks to the promising demand and strong sales.