Blackberry CEO, John Chen, hinted last month that they are very open to discontinuing the smartphone line, if it proves unprofitable in the long run, but maybe the third Z-phone is the charm.
BlackBerry’s future as a handset line may be unclear, after 73 models, but it did unveil a new smartphone today, the third in the “Z” series, the Z3 “Jakarta” edition. As at today’s launch, the phone is unique to the Indonesian market. This might be due to the fact that this is BlackBerry’s first phone co-manufactured with Foxconn, Asian electronic devices manufacturers.
The Z3 retails at an official price of $200 [N32,500] and will go on sale on the 15th of May in Indonesia, before making its way out to the rest of the world. The specs include a 5-inch touchscreen with 540×960 resolution, BlackBerry OS 10.2.1, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera,1080p video recording, a 1.1MP front-facing camera and a 2,500mAh non-removable battery [Amen!].
The Z3 is definitely mediocre spec-wise, but maybe that is the aim; to make a a touchscreen device in competition with the low-cost Android devices for a market it had lost to cheap Android OS phones.
The future of BlackBerry as a smartphone company probably rests on how well the Z3 does. Maybe partnering with Foxconn will make the desired difference. Here’s hoping it will.