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Mobile World Congress: BlackBerry showcases 'affordable' Z3, Q20

The Z3 - codenamed Jakarta - is the first handset to be manufactured under its 5-year partnership with Foxconn.

twitter-logo PTI   Barcelona     Last Updated: March 12, 2014  | 13:17 IST
BlackBerry showcases 'affordable' Z3, Q20
(Photo for representational purpose only. Source: Reuters)

BlackBerry has unveiled a new lineup of products at the Mobile World Congress - the sub-$200 'Z3' (Rs 12,400) and Q20 - to help revive its sagging fortunes as it faces stiff competition from rivals like Apple and Samsung.

The Z3 - codenamed Jakarta and the first handset to be manufactured under its 5-year partnership with Foxconn - will hit Indonesian markets in April this year. BlackBerry will start shipping the Q20, also manufactured by Foxconn, in the second half of this year.

"We have engineered a new strategy to stabilise the company and restore our customers' confidence in BlackBerry. The announcements made during MWC 2014 demonstrate that BlackBerry is looking to the future and bringing solutions to market that matter most to our customers," BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen said.

The Z3 is a "stylish yet affordable" five-inch smartphone with the latest BlackBerry 10 OS, version 10.2.1 and has exceptional productivity features, Chen added.

BlackBerry Q20, a QWERTY smartphone, merges the power of BB10 with the classic BlackBerry design and experience, sporting both hard buttons and an integrated trackpad.

With a 3.5-inch touchscreen and keyboard with frets and sculpted keys, the device will feature the familiar workflow and efficiency that BlackBerry fans continue to value in a BlackBerry QWERTY smartphone, the firm said.

"BlackBerry Z3 smartphone is expected to be available from leading carriers and retailers in Indonesia in April. The new BlackBerry Q20 smartphone will be available in the second half of 2014," it said.

Besides, the company also unveiled BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES12) platform, which will be available by end-2014, and offers backward and future compatibility, unifying BES10 and BES5 on to one platform.

These secure solutions emphasise the firm's strengths in enterprise mobility, while empowering end users to become more productive with technologies that drive communications and collaboration, Chen added.

The next generation BES12 service will help companies develop enterprise-grade applications that can be deployed to BlackBerry smartphones and other mobile devices quickly.

The flexibility and scalability of the new BES12 architecture will also provide customers with the ability to move securely from on-premise to the cloud effortlessly and securely.

BlackBerry said Daimler AG and Airbus Group among others have adopted its BES10. These distinguished corporations are part of an industry leading 80,000 companies whose communications are secured by BlackBerry, Chen added.

For the three months ended November 30, 2013, BlackBerry said it sold about 1.9 million smartphones in Q3, compared to 3.7 million smartphones in the previous quarter.


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