BlackBerry (BBRY) is looking to reverse its overseas market slump with a low-cost touchscreen smartphone, the Z3.
The Z3 will be released on May 15.
The success of the handset retailing for less than $200 could well decide the outcome of both BlackBerry’s tie-up with the contract manufacturing giant and its own future in smartphones.
The Z3 is the first phone to be launched by BlackBerry since new Chief Executive John Chen took the helm late last year. After Indonesia it will be gradually introduced in six other countries including the Philippines, India, Vietnam and Malaysia.
While BlackBerry publicly expects to sell millions of the new Z3s globally, if consumers reject the new smartphone that would mean a huge problem for the company.
Already its market share in the Indonesian market is falling. While 2 years ago, BBRY had a 40% share in the market, today it’s around 4% — thanks in part to the high cost of the latest smartphones.
BlackBerry hopes the lower-priced phone will win back customers — and its market share in a region that was once known globally to have loyal BlackBerry customers.
BBRY stock is down 53% from this time last year.