Tags: BlackBerry | handset | Morgan Stanley | comeback

BlackBerry Introduces Z30 Handset as Latest Move in Comeback Bid

Wednesday, 18 Sep 2013 07:51 AM

BlackBerry Ltd. will start selling its largest handset yet in the U.K. and Middle East next week, the latest step in a bid to turn around the struggling Canadian smartphone maker.

The Z30, which has a 5-inch touchscreen and is based on a newer version of its BlackBerry 10 operating system, is being unveiled today at an event in Kuala Lumpur, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Pricing will be announced by partners, BlackBerry said.

The company is counting on its new range of BlackBerry 10 phones to deliver a return to sales growth and profitability as it tries to regain market share from Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Sales two quarters ago missed analyst estimates by almost 1 million units, and BlackBerry said last month it would consider putting itself up for sale or new partnerships.

BlackBerry, which traditionally made devices featuring a physical keyboard, in January unveiled the Z10 with a 4.2-inch touchscreen that more closely resembled handsets like the iPhone.

The worldwide mobile phone market is forecast to grow 7.3 percent to pass 1 billion units for the first time this year, researcher International Data Corp. forecast Sept. 4.

BlackBerry, which already trailed Google Inc.’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems, also fell behind Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone in the first half of this year, IDC said. BlackBerry’s operating system will account for 2.7 percent of smartphones this year, declining to 1.7 percent by 2017, IDC said.

“BlackBerry OS share will decline markedly over the forecast due to tepid BlackBerry 10 reception and emboldened competition that are expected to whittle away share in its remaining regional bastions of strength, such as Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East,” IDC said in a Sept. 4 statement.

BlackBerry will report fiscal second-quarter earnings on Sept. 27. Morgan Stanley is holding off on upgrading its employees to BlackBerry 10 because of concerns the company may not be around long term to support the platform, two people with knowledge of the bank’s plans said last month.

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BlackBerry Ltd. will start selling its largest handset yet in the U.K. and Middle East next week, the latest step in a bid to turn around the struggling Canadian smartphone maker.
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2013-51-18
Wednesday, 18 Sep 2013 07:51 AM
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