BlackBerry introduced two very different smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday. One phone features the classic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard, and the other phone is a sleek touchscreen phone made specifically for the Indonesia market.
The keyboard phone, called the Q20, will feature a 3.5 inch touchscreen, making it the largest screen available on a QWERTY BlackBerry smartphone. Though the company hasn’t released images of the phone, BlackBerry promises that the Q20’s user interface will take full advantage of the iconic Menu, Back, Send, and End buttons and the integrated trackpad that BlackBerry users have come to love. The Q20 will also run the BlackBerry 10 OS. The company plans to reveal more information about the new flagship phone, including pricing and availability, in the second half of this year.
The other phone introduced at MWC, named the Z3, is heavily targeted towards Indonesian consumers. The phone is the first result of BlackBerry’s strategic partnership with Foxconn, announced last December. The keyboardless Z3 packs a 5-inch display, a built-in FM radio, and apps made specifically for Indonesia. BlackBerry has not yet set a price for the Z3 but says the phone will be released in April.
BlackBerry also announced that BBM is coming to Windows Phone and Nokia X users. The popular messaging service will be ready for Windows Phone this summer and will become available on the Nokia X shortly after.
While it’s unlikely that BlackBerry’s new devices will help the company, making its software available on other platforms is a great strategy. If or when the company stops creating hardware, BlackBerry should be able to generate revenue from offering its services on more popular smartphones.
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