BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) next new phone – the one that was codenamed Jakarta while it was in development – has finally been unveiled as the BlackBerry Z3. BlackBerry’s own blog points out that the Z3, which is powered by the latest BB10 OS, is “designed for customers in Indonesia.” It will arrive some time in April and will sell for below $200.
While the price looks right – at about the same level as some decent yet affordable Android phones – we’re still reserving judgement on how this will be received by its target audience.
Here are some highlights (the full specs haven’t been revealed yet) of the BlackBerry Z3:
- 5-inch screen
- Keyboard optimized for Indonesian language
- Comes with localized apps and content for Indonesia (no details yet)
- 3G support (LTE coming later)
- FM radio
- Running BlackBerry 10.2.1
- It’s assembled by Foxconn
We were expecting a QWERTY phone for the BBM-mad Indonesian crowd. Indeed, a lot of people are still using BlackBerry mainly because of its physical keyboard. But there are already quite a few affordable QWERTY BlackBerry phones in Indonesia, though they use the legacy OS.
BlackBerry is not only struggling to keep its phone business alive – with Indonesia one its few remaining strong markets – but is also battling to keep people using BBM amidst the onslaught of messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Line.
BlackBerry hasn’t had much success with its earlier BB10 phones in the country.
(Hat-tip to Engadget for spotting this)
(Editing by Steven Millward)