BlackBerry has now launched its Priv smartphone on the Indian market, just a day after making it available to U.S. customers on T-Mobile. Unfortunately, for those in India who have been anticipating the arrival of the Priv, with its physical keyboard and great security, will be a little disappointed, as it will cost you an arm and a leg.
According to IndianExpress, the Priv will set you back a hefty Rs 62,999 (or $923), which is quite a bit more than the $699 you have to pay for it in the U.S. Compare that to the iPhone 6s Plus, that starts from Rs 58,000 ($853) on Flipkart for the base model, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ which costs Rs 52,600 ($775) for a comparable model with 32GB of internal storage, or even the Lumia 950XL - a smartphone that can be bought unlocked for only Rs 49,400 ($725) from Amazon.in.
Damian Tay, BlackBerry's senior director, explained in an interview to IndianExpress that the reasoning for the high price tag is that the Indian market is ripe with people that are willing to pay the premium for the high-end specs and better build quality. While this may be true, $923 is a fairly steep price for a handset, and a hard sell in a country that has gravitated towards low-end or mid-range smartphones.
The Canadian company is not in the best shape financially, and we'll have to wait and see if an Android phone with high end specs, a physical keyboard and monthly security updates will help it compete in a market segment where even titans such as Apple have trouble making inroads.