MWC: BlackBerry Launches 2 New Phones, Upgrades Services
BlackBerry Tuesday unveiled a pair of new handsets, one of which is in keeping with CEO John Chen's committment to addressing emerging markets.
The Canadian OEM unveiled a successor to the Q10, the BlackBerry Q20, which features the familiar ‘Menu’, ‘Back’, ‘Send’ and ‘End’ Buttons, as well as an integrated trackpad. The Q20 will also come bearing the classic physical BlackBerry qwerty keyboard.
BlackBerry also rolled out a 5-inch all-touch BlackBerry 10 Smartphone designed for customers in Indonesia. The new phone, called the Z3, is a product of BlackBerry's recently announced partnership with device manufacturer Foxconn.
On the services side, BlackBerry introduced BES12, the next iteration of the company's enterprise platform. The company says the new service is application-enabled and unifies BES10 and BES5 to one platform. In addition, a new promotional program will provide free migration to BES10, while a new pricing structure enables customers to simplify their enterprise mobility management (EMM) environment to a single trusted provider.
Additionally, what has become the company's crown jewel, BlackBerry Messenger, will now be come packaged in an enterprise-grade version. The new eBBM Suite, consists of a family of products and services that work with BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry enterprise solution, BES and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, to provide enterprise-class mobile messaging.
BlackBerry has been in a fight for its life recently, attempting to remake its devices business, while conserving what value is left in its enteprise services.
After a dismal third quarter, the company announced a five-Year partnership with Foxconn, which is the primary manufacturer for many Apple products. Under the partnership, Foxconn will jointly develop and manufacture certain new BlackBerry devices and manage the inventory associated with those devices.
Chen said the move to Foxconn will allow BlackBerry to focus on "what it does best," namely, "security, software development and enterprise mobility management."