Research In Motion Ltd.
) has launched a new low-end BlackBerry smartphone in Dubai to
maintain its popularity in the Middle East and other emerging
countries. The new handset is based on BlackBerry's BB10
operating system (OS).
BlackBerry launched the keyboard-based Q5 last month and it
looks similar to, which looks similar to its flagship Q10
smartphone. The smartphone has a 3.1 inch touchscreen display and
offers the BB10 experience at an affordable price. Customers in
Dubai will be the first to lay their hands on Q5, which aims to
compete directly with cheaper phones from
) and other phones running on
) Android OS.
The smartphone comes in red, pink, white and black targeting a
wider audience, particularly the young people. The smartphone is
retailed around $400 in the UAE, much less that the $735 worth
Q10. However, the phone is available for free in the U.K., with a
BlackBerry has been struggling in a smartphone market mainly
) iPhone and other Android-based devices. In an attempt to
recover its deteriorating smartphone business, BlackBerry
launched its much-awaited BB10 OS-based device on Jan 30,
Initially, BlackBerry started selling the touchscreen version
(Z10) and later the keypad-based Q10 in several of its markets
including the Gulf region. Initially, the device received good
response in most of its key markets. However, the demand fizzled
out in most of the countries and even the U.S. launch has failed
to create any meaningful result.
The UAE is an important market for BlackBerry, where the
company has performed well in spite of the slump in its global
market share. Although research firm IDC declared that Android
dominates 75% of the global smartphone sales, BlackBerry has been
able to maintain its popularity in the UAE, where it holds a
Blackberry has followed the footsteps of its competitors, who
have generally launched an economical version of the flagship
handsets and have extensively marketed to capture the low-end
We believe Q5 is a significant addition to BlackBerry's latest
handset range as it will be attractive to the emerging market
customers, who have a low purchasing power. In addition to
boosting BlackBerry's sales, the launch is expected to strengthen
its presence in the region.
Research in Motion currently carries a Zacks Rank #3
*Research In Motion announced that effective Jan 30, 2013,
the company would operate around the world under the name
BlackBerry. From Feb 4, 2013, the company's ticker symbol for
trading has been changed from "RIMM" to "BBRY" on NASDAQ. The
legal name of the company has not changed, for which the
approval of the official change by shareholders will be sought
at the company's Annual General Meeting later in 2013. During
the time, the company will do business as BlackBerry.
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