BlackBerry Limited is still at it. The company is yet to give up the old habit of announcing devices are that heavily overpriced when compared with competitors in the market. Blackberry Key2 has been unveiled, and the summary is that it has mid-range specifications but a price tag you will find only on flagship devices.
Quick Look At Blackberry Key2
The Blackberry Key2 has a 4.5-inch display (with Gorilla Glass 3 protection) that sits above a hardware keyboard. That is classic BlackBerry design, and it is beautiful, as well as practical, for those who want it. There is a fingerprint scanner built into the keyboard. Nice.
Powering the device is a Snapdragon 660 processor – same as you will find in the Nokia 7 Plus and Vivo X20. At the moment, that is the most powerful mid-range processor in the market. When Snapdragon 710 smartphones show up, the 660 will take a step back.
The processor is matched with copious amount of RAM though – 6GB of it. Users can expect sweet multi-tasking on the key2. Internal storage is 64GB or 128GB, and there is a micro-SD card slot if you need more.
For photography and video capture, Blackberry key2 has a dual 12-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel selfie camera.
The battery has a capacity of 3500mAh and is equipped with quick charge 3.0 for fast topping up.
The specs of the BlackBerry Key2 are respectable, but a price tag of $645 is not justifiable. The Nokia 7 Plus is comparable and costs about $380. The Key2 costs almost twice the price of the Nokia 7 Plus!
BlackBerry Phones Sales Figures
Already, BlackBerry hasn’t been selling a lot of smartphones in recent years. In 2017, the report from IDC is that the brand sold a total of 850,000 devices globally. That is less than a million smartphones. By contrast, New entrant, HMD Global, sold over 8 million Nokia phones. Google sold 3.9 million Pixel devices.
BlackBerry sure isn’t selling a lot of phones. The company places a premium on the extra layer of security built into their smartphones. But if there is anything recent mobile history has made clear, it is that users do not care that much for smartphone privacy/security to shell out big bucks for it.
There is a huge graveyard of security-focused smartphone brands that consumers have ignored and that have consequently gone with the wind.
If BlackBerry wants to sell, they have to review their pricing. I understand charging a little bit more for the security, but the differences in prices compared to competitors aren’t little. Nokia clearly charges a little bit more for the premium build of their Android devices, but they have been sane about it. And they are selling.
Not a lot of users care about smartphone privacy/security enough to pay a heavy price for it – especially in markets that are awash with much more affordable alternatives. $645 for the BlackBerry Key2 is not competitive at all. We can expect limited sales of this model, just as happened with its predecessor, Blackberry KeyOne.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.