BlackBerry has announced that its Priv smartphone is now available on Verizon, which is the third of the big four mobile networks in the U.S. to carry BlackBerry’s inaugural Android device.The Priv can be purchased online from today starting at $30 per month on a 24-month plan, and it will be landing in stores from March 11.
Thus far, the BlackBerry Priv has been limited to AT&T and T-Mobile, so opening to the network with the biggest subscriber base in the U.S. is a notable step for the Canadian mobile phone manufacturer. It just needs to add Sprint to round out its availability on the big four U.S. networks.
The Priv first arrived in the U.S., U.K., and Canada in early November, and we said that Android with a hardware keyboard is wonderful in our review at the time. In the intervening months, the Priv has launched in myriad markets across Europe, Africa, Australasia, and Asia.While BlackBerry has maintained that it hasn’t ditched its own BlackBerry 10 operating system, the company has previously stated that the Priv represents its transition to Android. Indeed, while the company continues to support BlackBerry devices from a software perspective, it has no immediate plans to introduce any new BlackBerry 10 devices to market and is expected to add at least two more Android phones to its lineup in the near future.
Certainly, announcements by big-name apps such as WhatsApp that it plans to stop directly supporting platforms such as BlackBerry adds credence to the notion that the platform’s days are numbered.