BlackBerry Ltd launched its new Z30 flagship smartphone on Wednesday, as
it battles to win back market share despite uncertainty around its
Once a pioneer in the smartphone arena, BlackBerry said last
month it was weighing options that could include an outright sale, in
the face of lacklustre sales for its new devices that run on the
BlackBerry 10 operating system (Review).
The long-rumored BlackBerry Z30 device, which
is first being unveiled at an event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will be
BlackBerry's new top-of-the-line device, taking the crown from the
smaller BlackBerry Z10 (Review I Pictures) that was launched early this year.
The new touchscreen
device, which boasts a five-inch display and a 1.7 gigahertz processor,
will compete against the likes of Apple Inc's new iPhone 5s (Review) and Samsung
Electronics Co's Galaxy S4 (Review I Pictures), along with a slew of other devices that are
powered by Google Inc's Android platform.
The company faces an
uphill battle in generating interest in the new phone, however, given
the lack of clarity around its future.
(Also see: BlackBerry may put itself up for sale)
While the company has long
aspired to make its BlackBerry 10 operating system the No. 3 smartphone
platform in the market, the latest industry data indicates that
Microsoft Corp's Windows Phone platform is in fact more likely to clinch
that spot as its devices continue to gain ground.
new line of BlackBerry devices has been well received by reviewers,
analysts say the company lacks the financial heft to vie against
industry giants like Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, which boast
massive marketing and R&D budgets.
Some analysts contend that
Microsoft's move earlier this month to acquire Nokia's phone business
and license its patents for 5.44 billion euros, poses another hurdle for
BlackBerry, as the software giant is likely to redouble its catch-up
efforts in the mobile device business.
But Waterloo, Ontario-based
BlackBerry, which is set to report its fiscal second-quarter results
next week, appears to be sticking with its product roadmap for now, even
as it reviews its alternatives.
The company, which touts the Z30
as its "biggest, fastest and most advanced smartphone" to date, said the
device will begin to hit store shelves in the UK and parts of the
Middle East as early as next week.
The smartphone will go on sale
with select carriers and retailers in other regions over the remainder
of the year, said the company, adding specific pricing and availability
will be announced by its partners at the time of their respective
© Thomson Reuters 2013
Mobiles launched in September 2013