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May 14, 2013

BlackBerry Debuts Budget-Conscious Q5

New Smartphone to Target 'Emerging' Markets

BlackBerry is going after a whole new market with a brand new device.

The Canadian company unveiled its BlackBerry Q5 during its annual conference in Orlando today.

“BlackBerry is excited to bring a new BlackBerry QWERTY Smartphone, the BlackBerry Q5, to our customers in selected markets around world,” said CEO Thorsten Heins, adding the “youthful and fun” device will be available in selected markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America beginning in July.

So far, the company has not announced a price.

The Q5 is a good opportunity for the company to sell a lower-end device in areas where people are BlackBerry fans, but have less money to spend on flashy gadgets.

BlackBerry image

BlackBerry image

“The BlackBerry Q5 gives you the best of everything with its cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality and a physical QWERTY keyboard,” Heins said. “It is for youthful fans that are passionate, confident and bold, and it makes it easy for them to have fun, create, share and stay connected.”

As part of that youthfulness, multiple colors — black, white, red and pink — are available.

According to a company press release, the BlackBerry Q5 offers a “powerful and unique” mobile computing experience with features and apps working seamlessly together while adapting to the user’s needs.

The device is similar to the Q10 in appearance, boasting a full keyboard and a 3.1-inch touchscreen display. It will come powered by BlackBerry’s updated operating system Blackberry 10.1 which also was launched at today’s conference.

Blackberry 10.1 “brings new regulated-level IT policy controls and settings for government agencies and customers in regulated industries who require an advanced level of security, control and logging of BlackBerry 10 Smartphones,” according to a press release. “It also allows customers to support BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS Smartphones from a single server.”

Highlights of the BlackBerry Q5 are:

  • BlackBerry Time Shift mode creates a perfect picture while BlackBerry Story Maker creates and shares stories, weaving together users’photos, videos and music into movies.
  • BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) chat can be transferred over to a BBM video conversation so users can visit face-to-face. Users also can share their screen, whether it’s a photo, a page in the browser, an idea, or a view from your camera.
  • BlackBerry Hub is a single place to manage all conversations whether personal or work in e-mail, BBM messages, social media updates or notifications.