Ailing Canadian phone maker BlackBerry stunned analysts and itself after posting a disappointing but not disastrous quarterly earnings report. This gave CEO John Chen enough firepower to talk about how the company will mend its ways by getting back old customers with older products.
Judging by the success of the cut price Z10 in India, the company probably realised the importance of having a strong competitor in the mid-range smartphone segment. According to Tech Crunch, to address the issue Chen said that BlackBerry will roll-out the Indonesia-only, Foxconn-produced Z3 smartphone for global markets soon after its initial launch.
The Z3 will be launched in Indonesia in April, and is rumoured to carry a sub-$200 price tag. Chen also added that the device will be launched in an LTE variant for use with North American cellular networks.
The company’s second device will be the Q20, which according to Chen has got good feedback, and is scheduled for launch in Q1 of 2015. The device like its predecessor, the Q10, will feature a physical keyboard and trackpad (much like older BlackBerry devices) in conjunction to a touch screen and its latest BB10 OS.
The third and probably the most interesting announcement from the company was that it will ramp up production runs of the BlackBerry Bold, which is still one of its popular global devices. This means that rather than killing the BlackBerry 7 OS, two lines of devices will co-exist, or rather three.
We’ll have BlackBerry’s new take on the smartphone in the form of the Z10, Z30 and soon to come Z3, while phones that merge the company’s future and past will be available in the form of the Q10 and Q20. And for the unadulterated BB-lover there will always be the Bold which will run the iconic BB7.
From a business perspective the move does seem to make some sense, as the company tries to slow down the accelerated departure of its customers with a completely new line of devices. Instead, BlackBerry and Chen are trying to retain their loyal fans, a move that could see the company emerge as an extremely niche, but successful player in the phone business.