BlackBerry Vienna: Specs, rumours and release date

Just like Microsoft has been struggling with its Lumia range of smartphones, the story of BlackBerry has been quite similar. The once-upon-a-time largest seller of QWERTY phones in the world is now struggling to even achieve break-even in the smartphone business, forcing the present CEO to talk about quitting the sector and making the hardware business profitable in the long run.

But, despite all that talk, the Canadian tech company is still trending in tech columns thanks to a flurry of leaks and whispers both in Europe and the United States. If what we've been hearing in the last six months are true, then BlackBerry is set to launch two Android phones later this year, one of which will be a touchscreen model and the other will feature a physical keyboard.

These are the next BlackBerrys

The first leaks that flowed in after the Priv was launched was that BlackBerry will launch another Android phone code-named Vienna with a physical keyboard. CrackBerry, the leakster in this case, did not share any specification or features of the Vienna but did share several images of the phone which looked like official ones.

Even though tech reporters fell silent for a while after we were treated to the first glimpses of the Vienna, the phone returned to hog the headlines again, this time thanks to leaked features and specifications. Back in April, the Ecumenical News reported that Vienna may sport the same features as the Priv as the company has been going through tough times financially and would not want to take a chance with the capabilities of the phone. However, IB Times UK speculated that Vienna may feature a 5-inch display about the physical keyboard and Android 5.1 Lollipop on-board and may cost between £400 and £500 when released.

BlackBerry still banks on QWERTY as it launches more Android phones

Apart from Vienna, BlackBerry is reportedly working on two more mid-range phones which are code-named Rome and Hamburg. As per Pocket Lint, Rome may turn out to be another name for the Vienna as some leaked images of Rome revealed that it looks the same as the latter, Even though the website didn't go into specifications, it added that the other mid-range phone code-named Hamburg may feature a 'big bottom speaker' and may cost around $400 when released.

The if, the but and the when

With BlackBerry talking about shutting down its handsets business and later revealing that it may launch more Android phones in 2016, we are still a bit confused if the two rumoured BlackBerry phone will see the light of the day. The latest news to come straight from CEO John Chen's mouth is that the company will release two mid-range Android phones later this year, so we should go by it. However, back in December, he was not so sure.

"Depends on the Priv. If the Priv is well received in the market and looks like it is. There's a good chance [...], we will still focus on the high-end probably closer to mid-range coming out in 2016," he had said to the Bloomberg.

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A month later, Priv turned out to be a disaster. In the fourth quarter of 2015, BlackBerry managed to sell just 600,000 units of the Priv in the United States, far below expectations and not even being able to match the 700,000 phones it sold in the same quarter of the previous year. Despite such bleak results, Chen has decided to announce that BlackBerry will bring in more Android phones this year.

As of now, we are clinging on to Chen's recent statements but have not been able to confirm a probable release date for BlackBerry's upcoming phones. The Priv was launched in September of 2015, and if the Canadian tech giant is willing to give the Priv a full year for sales to blossom, then we should expect Vienna (Rome) and Hamburg to launch in September of this year, albeit with different names.

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