BlackBerry CEO John Chen on the company's plans to revive its hardware business
End of days for BB OS 10. New mid-range Android phones in the offing: CEO John ChenReuters

BlackBerry phones might be a rarity these days, but it wasn't long ago that virtually everybody who was somebody had one. However, its ecosystem failed to keep up with Android and iOS and now, BlackBerry is killing off its BlackBerry 10 OS.

The company's CEO, John Chen, confirmed that BlackBerry will be moving away from the OS and won't be launching any new phones powered by it. The existing BlackBerry 10 devices will continue to receive update though, he told the National.

Chen also confirmed that BlackBerry will also launch a new device bearing a price tag somewhere around the $400 mark. Details regarding the device were not divulged, but in a blog, Chen had confirmed that BlackBerry was developing an Android-based device.

Its previous Android-powered device, the Priv, was a great phone, loved by reviewers everywhere, but the company managed to sell only 600,000 pieces, well short of its target of 850,000 phones in Q1 2016. This number is also short of the 700,000 pieces sold in the previous quarter, as Slashger reports.

Chen told the National that customers found the phone too expensive at $700 and that a $400 price tag would have been a better bet. He added that despite their handset business picking up, unless it pushes the company into the green in terms of revenue, BlackBerry might have to exit the handset market.

If BlackBerry were to produce a mid-range phone with the same features that it had packed into the Priv, then the company just might be able to turn its fortunes around. Their decision to ditch their proprietary OS ecosystem will also prove beneficial as an increasing number of developers, including Whatsapp and Facebook, are stopping support.

"I love our handset business, but we need to make money," Chen said to the National.

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