Soon after BlackBerry shuffled top management it announced a five year deal with Foxconn which makes it responsible for design and manufacturing of low-cost smartphones that run BB OS and carry BlackBerry’s name. The first device was unveiled at MWC 2014. BlackBerry Z3 is exclusive to Indonesia right now but multiple reports reveal that the smartphone is off to a good start, something which the company certainly needs.
Indonesia is probably one of the last remaining strongholds of the ailing Canadian manufacturer. It has bled market share in crucial markets like the U.S. and Europe, losing third place to Windows Phone in the process. The Indonesian market has favored BlackBerrys for a long time and the company rewards that loyalty with a smartphone made exclusively for it.
Many retailers have said that they’re seeing strong customer response for the new handset. Some reports also claimed that the Z3 has actually been sold out in Indonesia. The company is promoting it through TV ads and has even set up a massive pop-up shop of sorts in Jakarta’s Central Park Mall. There’s a counter set up which shows how many units have been sold through the pop-up shop, over 1,300 units so far.
With the launch now out of the way BlackBerry is focusing on at least 3 to 4 new devices according to CEO John Chen. One of them will be an all-touch device and others will probably have keyboards. The company is also working on “BlackBerry Classic,” a smartphone that brings back the iconic function key belt from legacy devices.
While there’s no indication as yet if the Z3 will make its way to other markets, the company has previously said that its possible for an LTE capable variant of the Z3 to be launched in the U.S. If offered at a competitive price it may very well position itself as a bona fide competitor in the mid-range off-contract smartphone lineup.