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Feb
26

BlackBerry announces $200 smartphone, but emphasises security

From: The Guardian

BlackBerry chief executive brings the company back to its business roots, focusing on secure messaging and a new phone that features the ‘classic’ trademark trackpad and keyboard

in Barcelona

BlackBerry is working with Chinese manufacturing company Foxconn to produce a new, cheaper smartphone that will sell for under $200, it was announced on Tuesday.

The chief executive John Chen told the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the Z3 will launch in Indonesia in April, and that it was built in just three months instead of the usual 12.

Chen said the handset would eventually be released in other markets “with an LTE version sometime before I die”. The handset is entirely touchscreen, but Chen also announced a second new “classic” phone, the Q20, that will be released before the end of the year – which will feature BlackBerry’s trademark mechanical keyboard and also revives its trackpad.

It will resemble older BlackBerry models, but will use the new BB10 software.

“Almost everyone I’ve met, in government, enterprise, loves the keyboard, but it turns out what they love just as much is the little belt above the keyboard that held the trackpad and buttons, which is why they didn’t like the Q10. So we decided to listen to customers, and give them what they want.”

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