Following Apple’s lead, BlackBerry will soon enter the cheap phone segment market too. CEO Thorsten Heins was quoted as saying that the company would offer another phone this year. This mid-range device would be built upon BB 10. It is expected to be launched after September this year. The move came as BB announced an increased profit in the last quarter.
The sudden change of stance has come as a surprise for many. Previously, on many occasions, Heins had said that moving into such a segment was not on the company’s mind. But this move will surely help to improve the condition of the Canadian manufacturer.
Heins said that there is a huge demand for a midrange device and for meeting this demand, the company would launch its midrange device (MRD) after the September quarter. The device would be based on BB 10 – the latest OS. It would have a reduced set of features from the Z10 and Q10. Both these devices are priced at par with iPhone 5. The MRD, however, will target entry level devices from Android.
The main reason behind BB’s slow down is the App world. The number of apps may have jumped to more than 1,00,000 but the quality is missing. In comparison, Android and Apple devices offer far better alternatives. But another way out has already been thought of by BB.
An emulator and porting application has been launched by BlackBerry. This makes it possible for anyone to convert an Android app into a BB one. The procedure of doing so is quite simple. But the resulting apps are not necessarily of very good quality. However, it has improved BB’s position as compared to Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS phones.
Currently, about 20 percent of the apps in the App World are emulated from Android. BlackBerry’s VP for business development and global alliances, Martyn Mallick points out the solution. He says that the present position of emulator is what it was perceived. It provides a kind of beta testing phase for all the developers. Once they are sure of success on the platform, further changes can be made to the app. This also helps to increase the profit from such apps.
Otherwise too, BlackBerry gives a $10,000 guarantee for developing new apps on the BB 10. The company is so sure of its new OS that it is taking such bold steps. Under this guarantee, a monetary support of up to $10,000 is provided incase an app fails to monetize on the App world. This can be useful for youngsters who have great ideas but are not sure whether they are commercially viable or not.
With BB now planning such measures, it is only a matter of time that it becomes a real threat to Apple and Samsung. The company has already shipped out more than a million Z10 phones across the world. Such a rush is unprecedented, especially for a BB product. With a new MRD, the company can now aim to become a versatile phone company.
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