While the vast majority of the over a billion active smartphone users in India favor low to mid-end devices priced somewhere between $100 and $400, when it comes to flagships manufactured abroad people know to expect pretty insane tags.
Even so, it’s surprising, nay, shocking to see BlackBerry charge no less than 63,000 rupees for the security and productivity-focused Priv. That’s considerably north of $900 ($926, to be exact), which isn’t only extravagant by Western standards, it’s ludicrously high compared to other high-profile high-enders in India.
Case in point, the iPhone 6s Plus costs Rs 58,000 ($853) and up at popular e-tailer Flipkart. Meanwhile, the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL can be purchased for as “little” as 49,400 rupees, or $725, through Amazon.in. And the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, which resembles the BlackBerry Priv in many ways, sets you back Rs 52,600 ($775) in an “entry-level”, 32GB flavor.
Bottom line, the touchscreen/QWERTY keyboard hybrid may well be the most expensive smartphone in India starting January 30, a dubious honor its financially struggling Canadian creators probably shouldn’t have aspired to.
On the bright side, discounts are coming soon, hopefully on a global scale. Let’s just hope BB will shave enough off this wildly inappropriate regional MSRP for people to realize the Priv is quite the compelling powerhouse, with remarkably premium specs in tow including a 5.4-inch curved Quad HD AMOLED display, 3GB RAM, 18MP rear-facing camera, and 3,410 mAh battery.