BlackBerry’s Lifebelt Could be a sub-$200 Q5

by Istvan Fekete on May 22, 2013

BlackBerry is aiming high by launching a new smartphone featuring the adored physical keyboard. The handset is expected to be a budget version of the BlackBerry 10, with a single goal: to regain global market share. The strategy is to gain traction in emerging markets, and Blackberry Q5 could be the right solution.

The low-cost smartphone will be available in Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, in July. It is an essential move because the Q5 represents BlackBerry’s attempt to cater to emerging economies where they have a stronghold relative to the developed world, where rivals have swallowed its market share.

Its pricing is as yet unknown, but BlackBerry will certainly make sure it won’t price itself out of the market. However, it has to evaluate how the Q5 will play out in regions dominated by Google’s Android and cheap China offerings.

Of course, the launch is surrounded by vast speculation regarding its price. Some say the phones will sell for far less than the price tag for the Q10 line in North America, while others go as far as suggesting a $100 price, or at least close to it.

“The Q5 could be a very significant device for the company, as there is a significant opportunity for high-quality low-cost smartphones,” says Adam Leach, principal device and platforms analyst at Ovum.

Looking at the smartphone market, it is obvious that low-cost devices have benefitted Samsung’s global market share. As we can see from the most recent mobile market reports, Samsung controls the majority of Android devices, with great high-end smartphone sales (e.g. Galaxy smartphone line), but even higher mid-end and low-end smartphone sales.

Turns out even Apple is interested in entering the low-end market, as it is rumoured to be preparing a cheaper iPhone. While the initial thought of analysts was that the company is targeting the low-end market, we’ve heard whispers that Apple is, in fact, targeting the mid-end user with a possible $300 price tag. Now it remains to be seen what kind of pricing strategy the companies will choose.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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