The BlackBerry Priv, the company’s new flagship smartphone, is about to launch through AT&T in the United States. The second largest carrier in the land is unveiling BlackBerry’s latest on Friday, November 6, meaning the priv will be with us in four days. The company has today announced what pricing plans will be available to consumers on launch day.
Ok, we are going to just come out and say it. The price is insulting. The Priv is going to cost a whopping $699 off contract and a massive $249.99 over a two year contract term. We will probably get heat from BlackBerry fans for calling the Price insulting, but we have our reasons for that and none of them have anything to do with the handset itself.
We like everything we have seen and heard about the Priv. It looks elegant, has market leading flagship specs, comes with unique features (security, QWERTY keyboard, etc.) and of course arrives with the Android platform. It is a tour de force in many ways and the overall package is in line with handsets that do cost this kind of money.
The problem is, BlackBerry is losing the race against other manufacturers, and many suggest that the Priv is the last roll of the proverbial dice. We do not necessarily subscribe to that prediction, but nevertheless BlackBerry is asking consumers to take a leap of faith to come back to the company. With a ultra-high price tag, that leap looks increasingly perilous and we imagine while many will covet the Priv, most will be unwilling to part with that amount of money for a piece of hardware that they may see as unproven next to some other industry heavyweights.
AT&T is attempting to soften the financial blow through its Next plans, which if nothing else break down that high cost into easier to read chunks ($24.67 per month on the Next 24 plan, $30.84 with the Next 18 plan, or $37 on the Next 12 plan).
As for the handset itself, as we said, it’s a tour de force. The priv features a 5.4-inch curved touchscreen that can be elegantly slid out of the way to reveal a full QWERTY deck, which is BlackBerry’s hallmark of course. What has struck us about the device is just how slender it is considering its hidden keyboard, while we are excited about the sheer performance of a handset that sports bleeding edge specs (Quad HD screen, 3GB of RAM, you know the stuff we’re talking about).
At that price though… What do you think?