Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) has launched a low-cost all-touch device in Indonesia – the Z3.
The embattled smartphone maker is looking to revitalize sales in EMs like Indonesia, once known as “BlackBerry Nation”, where BlackBerry’s popularity has declined significantly. Just two years ago, the Waterloo, Ontario-based firm had a 40% share of the Indonesian market, shipping more than 600,000 handsets per quarter. BlackBerry’s market share has nosedived to just 4 percent currently, with shipments of around 100,000 devices per quarter, according to IDC.
The five-inch smartphone, which will go on sale from 15 May for less than $200, was unveiled at a glitzy launch event in Jakarta, in the Indonesian capital on Tuesday.
“If this device allows them [Blackberry] to grow again, even if it’s just small, steady growth, that’s a success in itself. That says there is still room for BlackBerry in Indonesia,” Ryan Lai, market analyst at consultancy IDC told Reuters.
The Z3 Edition is the first phone to be launched by BlackBerry since CEO John Chen took the helm late last year. The handset is also the first in a line of gadgets being built under a partnership deal with FIH Mobile Ltd, the Hong Kong-listed unit of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn – best known for assembling devices like iPhones and iPads for Apple (AAPL).
Shares of Blackberyy closed at $7.44 on Monday. BBRY has not performed well at all over the last year, plunging more than 60% to a 52-wk low of $5.44.