It looks like BlackBerry will be creating a couple of more Android devices under the codenames of Neon, Argon, and Mercury.
This report isn’t too surprising. Despite analysts suspecting that BlackBerry would stop producing hardware, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that the company was exclusively using Android for their devices in 2016, implying that we’d see more than just the Priv.
According to a VentureBeat source close to BlackBerry, the Canadian company will be looking at launching one of the three handsets every quarter.
Codenamed Neon, this is a supposed to be a low to mid-range handset. It will feature a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 617 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 13MP rear camera, an 8MP front camera and a 2,610mAh battery. According to the source, Neon will be competitively priced and launch in either July or August.
Argon is the more high-end unit BlackBerry is preparing. Launching at some point in October, this handset will feature a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage, a 21MP rear camera, a front 8MP camera, and a hefty 3,000mAh battery. The source said it will also be equipped with a fingerprint scanner and a USB Type-C port.
Aimed for Q1 2017, Mercury will have a QWERTY physical keyboard and a 4.5-inch Full HD display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. As far as processing power goes, we’re looking at Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, an 18MP rear camera, an 8MP front camera, and a 3,400mAh battery.
At least two of these handsets’ existence isn’t too surprising, as Chen confirmed that at least two mid-range handsets were in the works not too long ago.
It goes without saying, BlackBerry has had a rough ride lately. And the BlackBerry Priv didn’t really help a whole lot, performing a whole lot more poorly than originally expected. But, with launching these three Android phones over the next three quarters, this should determine whether BlackBerry will stay in hardware business or simply become a full-time design house.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens. July is upon us, and August isn’t that far out, so we should hear something more official on the Neon if VentureBeat’s source was right.