BlackBerry is one of those regarded to be quite fast at pushing out updates to its devices but there are still limits to what it is able to accomplish. Unfortunately for owners of its more or less recent Android phones, they will be running into those limits hard. In an interview with UTB Blogs, Alex Thurber, BlackBerry Mobile Solutions General Manager delivers some bad news. The BlackBerry Priv won’t be getting Android 8.0 Oreo, and the DTEK59 and DTEK60 might be on a similar boat.
The BlackBerry Priv is by no means an old phone. Announced in October 2015, the odd QWERTY slider is a month shy of its second birthday. But the expectation of two years’ worth of major updates isn’t set in stone, unless you have a Nexus or a Pixel phone. And RIV and DTEK phone owners are learning that the hard way.
BlackBerry’s reason for withholding Oreo? It’s just too difficult to get its partners in line to push that big an update. While the Priv did get updated from Lollipop (5.0) to Marshmallow (6.0) last year, BlackBerry’s experience back then proved to them how difficult a task that would be.
As for the DTEK phones, the reasons are slightly different. They were meant more to be an experiment of how the collaboration between BlackBerry and TCL would turn out. Based on the BlackBerry KEYone, it turned out great, says BlackBerry. Great enough to abandon the DTEK, which is now practically being painted as a commercial concept device.
That said, BlackBerry will continue to support those phones with minor security updates. But Thurber remarks how even that is already difficult in terms of getting partners to work together, so who knows how long that will be the status quo. And it definitely raises the question of whether the KEYone, which is made by TCL and not by BlackBerry, will eventually suffer the same fate.