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BlackBerry releases first photos of Android-powered Priv phone

Device maker offers a glimpse of its first smartphone to run on Google's Android software.

BlackBerry's upcoming Priv smartphone has a 5.5-inch curved screen. BlackBerry

BlackBerry on Tuesday revealed the first photos of its security-focused Android smartphone, the Priv.

In a blog post, the Waterloo, Ontario, smartphone maker released photos of the Priv, which is expected to launch in the fourth quarter.

Priv stands for both "privacy and privilege," according to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, and it's the company's first product to run on Google's Android mobile software. The device underscores a radical departure from BlackBerry's history of selling products using its own homegrown software. After years of battling Android, the world's most popular operating system for smartphones and tablets, BlackBerry is embracing what its much larger rival has to offer.

A side view of the Priv phone, with the slider keyboard. BlackBerry

"Priv users will enjoy choice, innovation, security, privacy and productivity. In other words, no compromises," BlackBerry said in its blog post, showing off the new photos.

The company has not released prices or a specific release date yet for the Priv, which will sport a 5.5-inch curved screen and a slider keyboard. In a video interview with Business News Network on Friday, Chen showed off the new phone, but the demonstration didn't go so smoothly.

With little audience enthusiasm for the BlackBerry operating system, a shift to Android on a single phone so far may not do much to beef up BlackBerry's mobile phone business at this point. Once a dominant force in the mobile phone market, especially among white-collar workers, BlackBerry has lost much of its business to players such as Apple and Samsung.

Even corporations and government agencies have jumped ship from BlackBerry to rival manufacturers, though the company has said that a core base of customers remain loyal.