Blackberry unveils Z3 Budget Smartphone in Indonesia

Blackberry announced today, its new BlackBerry Z3, Jakarta Edition, at a launch event in Jakarta, Indonesia. The touchscreen phone is expected to cost USD 200 (IDR 2199 K) and shall be on the shelves by the 15th of May. The phone is currently  available in the Indonesian market only and will soon be rolled out in other countries as well.

Z3 comes with  a 5 inch display;  5MP camera,  Dual-core 1.2 GHz Krait 200; Non-removable Li-Ion 2500 mAh battery with a talk time of over 15 hrs and a 16M color Capacitive touchscreen. Also, it will extend the full capabilities of the BlackBerry 10 Operating System version 10.2.1 experience for a new generation of customers in Indonesia.

This is the first of its phones, after the Ontario-based company announced a  five year  tie-up with the Taiwanese Foxconn Technology Group, in February this year. The deal came in after Blackberry suffered a severe fall in revenue with a net operating loss of approximately $950 million to $995 million in Q2, FY14.

The company was going through quite a bad phase for sometime, due to its inability to sustain itself in the presence of competitors like Samsung and Apple. Also, last year, it had announced for a USD 4.7 billion buyout plan, to be led by Fairfax Financial to recover the losses.

As per a Times Of India report, the research firm IDC, analyzes that Canadian firm had a 40% share of the Indonesian market two years back, churning out  more than 600,000 handsets per quarter. The launch of its high-end Z10 failed to attract any buyers and its share in the market fell to a mere 4%. As a part of its strategy, The Z3 economy smartphone is an attempt to revive its flogging market share.

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John Chen, the one year old CEO of Blackberry, stated that  the BlackBerry Z3 Jakarta Edition is designed specifically for the Indonesian customers.

The device allows users to type in the regional language of Bahasa and comes with customised and exclusive BBM stickers in local characters,The Punakawan, by Indonesian illustrator Susilo Saptoady.A limited edition model with “Jakarta” inscribed on the back of the device will be available for a limited period.

Sometime later in the year, BlackBerry also plans to launch the non-touchscreen BlackBerry Classic, with the  command keys that include ‘Menu,’ ‘Back,’ ‘Send’ and ‘End’ buttons and a trackpad.

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