- New Priv Android phone available at Amazon, AT&T as well
- CEO has said he will exit device business if not profitable
BlackBerry Ltd. jumped the most since January after an industry website reported the company’s newest phone is being sold at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The BlackBerry Priv, unveiled last month, is sold in the U.S. through AT&T Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and the company’s own website. Adding Wal-Mart brings a new outlet for sales of the phone during the busy holiday shopping season.
The stock gained 11 percent to $8.15 at 2:35 p.m. in New York.
BlackBerry is working to transition its business to selling software as revenue from phone sales continues to fall. The Priv is the company’s first device to run on Google Inc.’s Android operating system, increasing its appeal to customers who demand popular smartphone applications that aren’t available on BlackBerry’s own system.
The Priv is listed as “out of stock,” on Wal-mart’s U.S. website. It sells for $699. A representative for Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
In the most recent quarter, smartphone sales fell more than 50 percent to $201 million compared with the same period last year. BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen has repeatedly said he will exit the device business if he can’t make it profitable, and needs to sell 5 million phones a year for the unit to break even.
The company reports earnings on Dec. 18.