Friday, March 27th6.1°C
24931

BlackBerry announces new phones, services as part of comeback strategy

BARCELONA, Spain - BlackBerry will release a low-cost smartphone in Indonesia in April and plans a broader release of a phone that restores a beloved row of control keys with a track pad.

The Indonesia phone, the Z3, will sell for less than $200 without subsidies, the company said Tuesday. It will later expand to other markets in southeast Asia. BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB) CEO John Chen said a version with faster, 4G connectivity is planned for the rest of the world "sometime in the future before I die."

It's the first phone made under a new five-year partnership with Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles products in vast factories in China.

Meanwhile, Chen said it will restore the keys in a new phone he termed "Classic." He said the new Q20 is a response to lacklustre sales of last year's Q10, which has a physical keyboard but lacks the track pad or keys for functions such as going back. He said the company got many complaints about that.

BlackBerry also announced plans to expand its services for businesses needing secure communications, particularly in regulated industries such as health care and financial services. There are plans, for instance, to go beyond securing just email and messaging.

It's part of the company's plan to focus on its strengths in business services. BlackBerry strayed from that as it tried to lure consumers with new devices.

The BlackBerry was the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other consumers before Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, showing that phones could handle much more than email and calls. BlackBerry was slow in modernizing its operating system, and once it did, the much-hyped system flopped.

Chen was brought in as CEO late last year after talks to sell the company collapsed. Although he has been credited with turning around Sybase, a data company that was sold to SAP in 2010, Chen has acknowledged that reviving BlackBerry will be his most "complicated" challenge.

In the latest quarter, ending Nov. 30, BlackBerry reported a $4.4 billion loss and a 56 per cent drop in revenue. But the company said it had plenty of cash to engineer a turnaround.

The new partnership with Foxconn will help reduce much of BlackBerry's manufacturing costs. Foxconn, known for its manufacturing contract work on Apple's iPhones and iPads, will jointly design and manufacture most BlackBerry devices and manage inventory of the devices.

Chen said BlackBerry will now target the heavily regulated industries that require greater security. It will simplify its pricing and let people upgrade to the latest systems for free this year. It will also offer free services this year for companies that had left BlackBerry for rivals.

The company had earlier announced that it will make its BBM text messaging system available to two more types of smartphones, those running the Windows operating system and the Nokia X platform.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, shares in Blackberry closed up 70 cents, or 6.88 per cent, at $10.87 on Monday after having gone as high as $11.18 earlier in the day.

_ With files from The Canadian Press.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

24497


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14869.80-59.57
S&P CDNX679.56+2.32
DJIA17678.23-40.31
Nasdaq4863.36-13.16
S&P 5002056.15-4.90
CDN Dollar0.80090.00
Gold1196.30-8.80
Oil50.85-0.58
Lumber287.80+1.80
Natural Gas2.641-0.031

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.13+0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.50+0.00
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.21+0.00
Metalex Ventures0.04-0.01
Russel Metals24.68-0.28
Copper Mountain Mining1.13+0.00
Colorado Resources0.115-0.010
ReliaBrand Inc0.0075-0.0004
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.045+0.000
Mission Ready Services0.235-0.005
Decisive Dividend Corporation1.78-0.32

 





FEATURED Property
21593881106 Westpoint Drive
10091547 bedrooms
$299,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


CRA Notice of Assessment

Many Canadians rush to file their taxes on time each year and don’t think about it until the next year. One of the most overlooked notices received from the CRA annually is the annual Notice of ...


Medical confidential?

If ICBC asks your doctor for your information you may wonder: Can ICBC ask my doctor for my medical information? Can ICBC request a medical report from my doctor without my consent? What is ICBC entit...


Stay out of sales limbo!

Have you ever had a series of good meetings with a prospect … gathered all kinds of information … and given what you thought was a great presentation … only to receive a response ...

_



25482

25666


Member of BC Press Council