BlackBerry PRIV -- security-enhanced Android slider. Pre-order now...

Secure slider seems slightly spendy

BlackBerry PRIV pre-order

The BlackBerry PRIV is almost here; you can pre-order it today.

Off contract, you can get it at $699 (or C$899 for our neighbors to the north). It's shipping 11/6. But can it revive the struggling, eponymous Canadian company?

BlackBerry (née RIM) says PRIV is the most secure Android phone about. It also enjoys BlackBerryesque features such as a real keyboard and BES.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers flex their thumbs in readiness, eh.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

He's up to date! He's on-topic! Yes, Nathan Eddy is current:

[You're fired -Ed.]

Beleaguered smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry latest attempt at a comeback arrives in the form of the Priv.

5.4-inch dual-curved screen, 18-megapixel dual-flash Schneider-Kreuznach certified camera...3410 mAh battery with enough power for up to 22.5 hours of mixed use...the DTEK app [which] tells users which apps access personal data and shows the overall security of the device. ... BlackBerry is looking to reassure users that it has taken additional steps to secure the Android platform.

CEO John Chen has set an ambitions sales target of five million handsets per year, but was reported saying...the company could exit the handset business in a year if it fails to turn a profit.  MORE

Don't hassle John Hoff:

As much as the reputation of BlackBerry has waned and suffered throughout the years mainly because of the ubiquity of Android and does seem like some people are actually interested in the Priv. ... BlackBerry [is] one of the few companies who know how to make a good physical keypad.

[But] CEO John Chen wasn’t joking when he said that the Priv would be priced like most flagship phones – this gadget retails at USD$699 (whew).  MORE

BlackBerry's Alex Manea directs your attention to PRIV's security features:

BlackBerry has a long and storied history of building private and secure mobile solutions. ... We pioneered the concept of app permissions.

[PRIV] will revolutionize the way you look at smartphones. [It's] the perfect smartphone for businesses and consumers looking for productivity, privacy and security. ... Including:

BlackBerry’s Hardware Root of Trust [which] injects cryptographic keys into the device hardware. ...
Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain, which uses the embedded keys to verify every layer of the device. ...
A hardened Linux kernel. ...
FIPS 140-2 compliant full disk encryption. ...
The BlackBerry Infrastructure, [and] BES12.

[It] integrates seamlessly with Android for Work [and] comes with full access to [the] Google store. ... IT administrators can also use Google Play for Work.  MORE

After reading that, Andrew Orlowski thinks BlackBerry "has its work cut out":

“Android Security” sounds like an oxymoron. ... It’s going to take more than a blog to assure buyers.

Google is secure the platform. But...the supply chain and user practices are beyond its beck and call.

But with Google struggling to patch Android, they need every bit of help they can get.  MORE

Meanwhile, Nate Santos finds it a bit spendy:

You might have to think back aways to recall the last time you used a BlackBerry.

PRIV runs on a Snapdragon 808...with 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of flash [and a] MicroSD card slot that can hold cards up to 2TB. The...5.4 inch dual curved screen uses a Quad HD display [with] Gorilla Glass 18-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front...and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that provides you with a familiar BlackBerry experience.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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