BlackBerry wants to bring BB10 to mass market

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In a last-ditch attempt to convince everyone of the merits of its new mobile operating system, Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry unveiled in the country its latest smartphone model aimed at the mid-market segment.

Newly appointed BlackBerry Philippines country manager Kristian Salvo led the launch of the BlackBerry Q5 at the New World Hotel in Makati City on Friday, Aug. 23.

“Our strategy is to get the BlackBerry 10 (BB10 platform) in the hands of all Filipinos,” Salvo said in an interview. “I believe in the product, I use it everyday.”

Compared to its previous releases of BB10-based smartphones such as the Z10 and Q10 that sell more than P30,000, the Q5 is designed to cater to the mid-scale users particularly young people, selling initially at P18,690.

Available only in black color, the Q10 has a 3.1″ touch-screen and still sports a classic QWERTY keyboard and is powered by the BlackBerry 10 version 10.1 platform that offers BB’s four key features, namely the BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Balance, BlackBerry Messenger or BBM and BlackBerry Remember.

“The specs are slightly different but rest assured the [BB10] experience will be the same,” Salvo said.

The executive said the Q5?s launch is part of BlackBerry’s extension of product range as the company continues to expand its relationships with carriers and retail partners.

However, Salvo said the bundled services for the Q5 offered by local telecommunications firms have yet to be firmed up.

Salvo, together with BlackBerry carrier sales manager Kathleen Muller, did not give the sales figures for the Z10 and Q10 but said the company’s relationship with local carriers remains to be strong.

Only recently, BlackBerry was tagged as a ?struggling firm? as it announced that the company is up for sale.

It can be recalled that BlackBerry used to have a customer base composed strongly of world leaders and corporate people but that is longer the case.

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