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BlackBerry’s New Q5 Device Aims to Entice Users in Emerging Markets

At the start of its BlackBerry World event this week in Orlando, FL, BlackBerry introduced its new Q5 smartphone that is part of the new BlackBerry 10 family. The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone features a QWERTY keyboard with discrete keys in a new design that aims to provide a fast, effortless experience for users on the go.

“BlackBerry is excited to bring a new BlackBerry QWERTY smartphone, the BlackBerry Q5, to our customers in selected markets around world,”  Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry, said in a media statement. “The BlackBerry Q5 gives you the best of everything with its cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality and a physical QWERTY keyboard.”

As part of the BlackBerry 10 experience, the BlackBerry Q5 smartphone offers a mobile computing experience that continuously adapts to the user’s individual needs. Features and apps work seamlessly together, allowing each move to flow easily to the next.

The BlackBerry Q5 features a classic BlackBerry Keyboard with discrete keys that has been re-engineered and designed for fast, accurate typing that can be completed with the least amount of effort. In addition to a newly modified keyboard, BlackBerry Q5 boasts a 3.1-inch touch screen.

Like the new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10, users can instantly switch to chat to a BBM Video conversation and catch up face-to-face. You can even share your screen, whether it’s a photo, a page in the browser, an idea, or a view from your camera.

With the phone targeted at emerging markets in locations such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa, many are waiting to see how the new phone is received in these areas. Adam Leach, principal device and platform analyst at Ovum, said that the Q5 could be a game-changer for BlackBerry, as it relates to high-qualit, budget smartphones. “The Q5 could be a very significant device for the company, as there is a significant opportunity for high-quality low-cost smartphones,” Leach said. “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.”

Leach also surmised that it looks as though BlackBerry is aiming to re-create that its Curve device has experienced in emerging markets. However, he also warned that there is stiff competition in this area, with other competing smartphone manufacturers vying for a piece of the pie.  "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.,” he said. “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.”

The new BlackBerry Q5 smartphone will be available in selected markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa,  Asia (including the Asia Pacific region), and Latin America, with expected availability beginning in July.

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Thursday, 20 February 2020