While carrier exclusivities are rarely a good idea for a Hail Mary pass-type of device aimed at overturning a company’s long-struggling financials, the BlackBerry Priv should soon break AT&T’s shackles, and expand to Verizon, almost definitely T-Mobile, and likely Sprint too.
How soon? That’s impossible to say with clockwork precision, but based on a recent FCC authorization, at least Big Red may be able to pick up the security-focused Android smartphone ahead of February’s Mobile World Congress and the spring onslaught of new high-enders from top-tier BlackBerry rivals.
Of course, we can’t help but root for an improbable Verizon spurt of generosity off the bat, given Ma Bell currently charges a whopping $740 for the off-contract touchscreen/QWERTY keyboard hybrid, and the unlocked price through shop.blackberry.com sits unyieldingly at $700.
Operator competition must drive retail costs down sooner or later if BB wants to keep sales numbers on the rise as the Samsung Galaxy S7 or HTC “Perfume” enter the scene. Back to the FCC certification that makes it clear Verizon’s Priv rollout is around the corner, an interesting tidbit related to document confidentiality agreements seems to suggest January 20 will be D-Day.
Is the phone worth waiting for, and worth ignoring the GS7 for? It really depends on what price you put on productivity and data privacy.