BlackBerry officially ends support for Priv, outlines BB10 plans

BlackBerry said it will no longer deliver monthly security updates for the Android-powered Priv handset.

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BlackBerry on Friday said that it will end regular monthly security updates for its Android-powered handset Priv.

Released in November 2015, the Priv -- named as a hat tip to BlackBerry's focus on privacy -- was touted by BlackBerry CEO John Chen as the most secure Android phone on the market.

Its launch came as the Canadian tech company was trying to carve out a path to profitability, but, last summer, a BlackBerry executive revealed to CNET that sales of the Priv device were struggling. In September, BlackBerry confirmed that the Priv would not update beyond Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

"Having now stepped outside the original two-year window, we will no longer be delivering monthly updates for the PRIV moving forward," wrote Alex Thurber, SVP and GM of BlackBerry's mobility division, in a Friday blog post.

Thurber added that BlackBerry would "engage [its] partners as needed to develop and deliver necessary patches" to the Priv, and what it would still fulfill all of its warranty obligations for the device.

Thurber also revealed that a BlackBerry "trade-up" program is in the works for current Priv users.

"We will soon be introducing a trade-up program for current BlackBerry customers who are still using the Priv as well as those holding onto BB10 and BBOS devices," Thurber wrote. "Stay tuned for details and get ready to upgrade to a BlackBerry KeyOne or Motion, the most secure Android smartphones on the planet."

In another blog post, BlackBerry outlined future support plans for the BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS services:

While we are pleased to announce continuing support for BB10 and BBOS users for at least another two years, current device owners should be aware that we will be closing some ancillary services such as the BlackBerry World app store (12/31/2019), the BlackBerry Travel site (February 2018), and the Playbook video calling service (March 2018). Customers who upgrade to a new KeyOne or Motion won't miss a beat as they'll have immediate access to the rich universe of apps in the Google Play store without compromising on either security or their desire for a physical keyboard.

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