BlackBerry is hoping its re-entry into the rapidly growing mid-tier smartphone market with the Z3 will boost its flagging fortunes.
The beleaguered Canadian handset and software company last week announced that the Z3 will launch in the
The handset with features including a 5-inch touch display, BlackBerry Messaging and limited Android app downloads, will retail for Dh899.
While other BlackBerry handsets are available for as little as Dh600, the Z3 is the company's first mid-price handset to run BlackBerry 10, the company's most recent operating system.
The launch of a lower-cost handset such as the Z3 does not signal a retreat by BlackBerry from the enterprise sector, traditionally its core market, according to
"The price of high-end smartphones is gradually falling, while at the other end of the spectrum you have the emergence of a lot of vendors launching devices for the lower-end segment," said
"So for them to launch a model that fits in that segment is a good approach."
Devices costing less than
The introduction of the Z3 in some way mirrors BlackBerry's launch of the lower cost 8520 handset in emerging markets in 2009, according to
"They were active in that space and then they moved out, and now they're trying to come back. They're back with a new operating system and they're slowly trying to expand their portfolio," he said.
But while handsets such as 8520 gained strong market share, this time around BlackBerry is likely to struggle, said
"It's going to be very challenging because the market is very different now," he said.
"If you look at end users in emerging markets they're strongly inclined towards Android, and Windows also has a lot of options. So they're not going to find it as easy in the past when they expanded their portfolio downwards."
BlackBerry's share of the smartphone market in the
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