Let me be upfront. I personally am incredibly fond of names like BlackBerry Shift, or really anything other than ‘Priv,’ but I’ll show some respect for BlackBerry’s new regime Chief Evangelist, Mark Wilson, who without acknowledgement has shown us time and time again that this is a new BlackBerry under the guidance of CEO John Chen. Priv by BlackBerry has been received by the community to generally negative sentiment with 4/5 readers on CrackBerry disliking the name. Perhaps, those results may be a bit skewed. Oh, and it’s pronounced PRIV – like privilege.
If you sit back and think about the name ‘Priv,’ it actually makes a lot of sense. Many expect a device name to glamorize the device, but BlackBerry is a software company. The hardware is only part of what’s offered. Sure, there’s Android. Sure, there’s QWERTY… but there’s also Privacy, which is a much more intangible thing. This is the marketing potential BlackBerry has to tout its expertise in security and moreover consumer privacy. To capitalize on the data losses in popular apps and services, BlackBerry has crafted a device that is enterprise grade when paired with BES software and also has consumer services to defend against compromised data.
Here’s an excerpt from a Globe and Mail feature talking about Priv and security.
“Mr. Chen was clear the amount of hardening that BlackBerry does, from chipsets to the Linux kernel and on down, requires a lot of help from Google – which they are getting – to make an Android phone as secure as a BB10. That said, the Priv will have security features no BlackBerry or Android has had before.
“We will have technology that will help the individual know if they have been snooped, attacked, compromised,” said Mr. Chen, adding on screen notifications will “measure your vulnerability … and individuals will be able to tell if anything is happening to them.”
This is the touted BlackBerry Safeguard application suite that BlackBerry has integrated into Android.
Ultimately, Priv is derived from the same core principles with which BlackBerry 10 was created.
“…We built BlackBerry 10 because we want to be the best at security.” ex-BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins
Across the last two years, BlackBerry 10 as a platform has nailed that niche, servicing top government and regulated customers around the world. This last quarter, their enterprise sales teams and general consumers were able to buy-up 800,000 units worth of BlackBerry devices with an ASP (Average Sale Price) of $240. Do the math and you’ll see – there’s a lot of of money to be made from these devices but the volumes are too low, despite a consistent demand. Enter Priv by BlackBerry.
1) PRIV Root Form
Priv- comes from Latin, where it has the meaning “separated; apart; restricted.” This mirrors the kind of restrictions and data separation BlackBerry can achieve with their BES through the Android for Work initiative.
Priv offers something for everyone… a physical keyboard and the plethora of application support from Google Play. The device will be marketed with ‘Priv’ at the center of the conversation. Because your Privacy is your Privilege. Security is what BlackBerry offers through their latest partnership with Google.
While governments and enterprises rely on security, the consumer appreciates ‘security’ in terms of privacy. They want the peace of mind to know their data is free from embarrassing exhibition. BlackBerry has measures in place on this Android to offer customers an elevated privacy and permissions experience. Finer control over applications will allow BlackBerry to safeguard the consumer data experience, which will empower the open nature of Android’s ecosystem.
4) Search Engine Optimization
Priv is not a generally searched term on the internet. Names like Passport and Classic, while great to describe what the device represents, are already saturated terms online. BlackBerry is grabbing at web-space that hasn’t yet been colonized. This makes the Priv name much more specific and betters BlackBerry’s visibility for the device. Also, because PRIV is used in words like private, privacy and privilege, it will get even more traction as a brand name. This is why names like Wii, iPad and others stand out as they are distinct and not immediately easy to relate with.
5) Exploits Competitors’ Weaknesses
For the Priv to be successful, BlackBerry must offer a “killer app” and, in this case, that app is likely whatever front facing security and privacy additives BlackBerry is bringing to Android. Neither iPhone nor Android are perceived as secure, so if BlackBerry can use their brand and seed Priv as a secure and connected alternative to the underlying drawbacks of their competitors’ platforms, they’ll be able to offer a competitive advantage no one else can upon Android.