Blackberry Ltd.’s Priv Is Now Available for Pre-Order

BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY) has opened up pre-ordering for the upcoming Priv and has huge expectations for it.

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If Blackberry Ltd. (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY) is throwing a Hail Mary pass with the upcoming release of the Priv, it’s off to a spectacular start.

Blackberry is slated to release the first BlackBerry smartphone running Android on November 6. Last week, pre-sales opened up for users in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K., with pricing set to make this device a top-tier device on par with the Samsung’s Galaxy series and the iPhone line from Apple Inc. In the U.S. the Priv will retail for $699, and in Canada the Priv can be ordered for $899.

Carrier-based subsidized pricing will probably fall below these levels, but in any event the Priv is being priced at a premium level on par with the latest offerings from Apple and Samsung.

The Priv is Android, secured

BlackBerry CEO John Chen hasn’t been coy about his intents to release an Android device, but opted to wait until the right conditions could be met. In a statement on the company blog last week, he reiterated that commitment: “I committed that we would release an Android phone only if we could make it, like everything else we produce: secure. We have—and so today is that day.”

The Priv is being touted as the world’s first secure smartphone running Android. While there are other devices that can attest to having a secure Android system (BlackPhone and Knox come to mind), this will be the first device from BlackBerry, who is arguably the authority when it comes to device security.

Another point worth noting is that BlackBerry has built this phone from the ground up to be secure, unlike Knox, which added security as more of an afterthought. And unlike the Blackphone, the Priv will be readily available for purchase from all carriers in November.

No more excuses

Just for the record, BlackBerry’s operating system, BB10, is by far and large the most intuitive and efficient mobile system on the market today. Where it fails is due to a lack of adoption from a market that has entrenched itself in competing apps.

The launch of an Android-powered BlackBerry should by no means represent the end of BB10 development. Chen clarified this point as well in a number of interviews, citing that there are still going to be updates to BB10, and that businesses are still using and purchasing BB10 devices, which remain the most secure mobile operating system in use.

For all types of consumers, the Priv is the answer to what they have been asking for all along—a device that is more secure, has the iconic keyboard only BlackBerry can offer, has current hardware, and has access to the largest app marketplace on the planet.

In my opinion, the Priv represents the best opportunity for BlackBerry’s hardware division to make a significant impact to BlackBerry’s bottom line.

Since the pre-sale started, the stock is up nearly 6%. Despite this, BlackBerry still trades below $10, making it a very attractive buy for investors looking at the long term.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Demetris Afxentiou has no position in any stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple.

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