BlackBerry eyes budget smartphone market with Q5
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BlackBerry eyes budget smartphone market with Q5

BlackBerry eyes budget smartphone market with Q5

BlackBerry has announced the addition of the cut-price Q5 to its new range of smartphones running on the BB10 operating system.

    The device features the familiar fixed keyboard, albeit with more discrete buttons than the recently launched Q10 device, and is set to run the full version of BlackBerry's new OS, despite the expected lower retail price.

    It is clear that the phone-maker is eyeing a bigger slice of the global smartphone market, no longer simply targeting high-end business users. Analysts at Ovum predict that emerging markets will account for nearly 40% of the 1.7 billion smartphone devices shipped globally by 2017.

    "The Q5 could be a very significant device for the company, as there is a significant opportunity for high-quality low-cost smartphones," said Adam Leach, principal device and platforms analyst. "Emerging markets accounted for roughly 17% of the nearly 450 million smartphone shipments globally in 2011".

    The crucial aspect of the Q5 will be its price point, and whether or not BlackBerry can impact the sub-$100 smartphone opportunity, according to Leach.
    "Blackberry is clearly aiming to replicate the success of the BlackBerry Curve in emerging markets, doing so will help the company establish the BlackBerry 10 platform in the market. However, BlackBerry has significant competition in this area with a number of handset manufacturers championing an array of low-cost Android devices as well as Nokia's Asha 501," he explained.

    The phone-maker made a slew of announcements last night at their BlackBerry Live 2013 event in Florida, including the announcement that BBM will made available on iOS and Android from this summer , but the Q5 is more key for driving revenue to the firm, who up until recently have been deluged with coverage of their financial struggles.

    "BlackBerry is excited to bring a new BlackBerry QWERTY smartphone, the BlackBerry Q5, to our customers in selected markets around world," said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry, from the BlackBerry Live 2013 event in Florida.

    "The BlackBerry Q5 gives you the best of everything with its cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality and a physical QWERTY keyboard. It is for youthful fans that are passionate, confident and bold, and it makes it easy for them to have fun, create, share and stay connected," he said.
    AMEinfo Staff

    AMEinfo staff members report business news and views from across the Middle East and North Africa region, and analyse global events impacting the region today.

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