BlackBerry aims at emerging markets with Q5


BlackBerry announces its first smartphone to be targeted at emerging markets, the Q5

BlackBerry has announced its first smartphone to be aimed at emerging markets, the Q5.

The Q5, which is set to launch globally to developing markets in July this year, is a BlackBerry 10 smartphone. It features a QWERTY keyboard in a youthful, fun design. The device has been built to provide a fast, effortless experience.

'BlackBerry is excited to bring a new BlackBerry QWERTY smartphone, the BlackBerry Q5, to our customers in selected markets around world,' said Thorsten Heins, president and CEO at BlackBerry. 'The BlackBerry Q5 gives you the best of everything with its cutting edge BlackBerry 10 functionality and a physical QWERTY keyboard. It is for youthful fans that are passionate, confident and bold, and it makes it easy for them to have fun, create, share and stay connected.'

Adam Leach, principal device and platforms analyst at Ovum, commented: 'The Q5 could be a very significant device for the company, as there is a significant opportunity for high quality, low cost smartphones. Emerging markets accounted for roughly 17% of the nearly 450 million smartphone shipments globally in 2011 and Ovum projects that emerging markets will account for nearly 40% of the 1.7 billion smartphone devices shipped globally in 2017.

'BlackBerry is clearly aiming to replicate the success of the BlackBerry Curve in emerging markets; doing so will help the company establish the Blackberry 10 platform in the market,' added Leach. 'However, Blackberry has significant competition in this area with a number of handset manufacturers championing an array of low cost Android devices, as well as Nokia's Asha 501.'

Leach noted that the crucial aspect of the Q5 launch will be its price, referring to if BlackBerry manages to address the sub-$100 smartphone opportunity.


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