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BlackBerry (BBRY) Stock Gains as Priv Hits Stores

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BlackBerry (BBRY - Get Report) stock is advancing 6.32% to $8.08 in late morning trading on Friday as the company's first Android phone began to ship today.

Priv will also be available at AT&T (T) and its retailers as BlackBerry attempts to improve its smartphones sales.

"Today is only the first of many great days, and many of our other carrier and retail partners will soon begin offering Priv in more markets, including Germany, Hong Kong and the Netherlands," CEO John Chen said in a blog post.

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Early reviews for the phone have been positive because of the phone's increased security, battery life and full keyboard.

Priv could help Blackberry revive its smartphone segment, which accounts for less than 1% of the global market, but it may not be able to top Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, which also boasts security and privacy features, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates BLACKBERRY LTD as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has...