BlackBerry has announced the BlackBerry Z3 today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Z3 (aka "Jakarta") is an entry-level BlackBerry 10 device that will be geared toward emerging markets. It is also the first device from BlackBerry's partnership with Foxconn.
The Z3 joins the BlackBerry Z10 and Z30 as an all-touch BB10 device. It is due out in April in Indonesia (hence the Jakarta codename) for under $200 retail price — the cheapest BlackBerry 10 device by far — with plans to expand availability beyond Indonesia in the future. The Z3 has only a 3G radio, no LTE, which isn't surprising given the price point, though BlackBerry CEO John Chen did say that BlackBerry has "a plan to take that phone out globally with LTE sometime in the future before I die."
The Z3 is the first BlackBerry device to be produced in partnership with OEM manufacturer Foxconn. Terry Gou, chairman of Foxconn, said that "Since December we have worked on devices quickly." We're still awaiting further details on the device and will update this post when we've got them.
BlackBerry Introduces Stylish, 5" All-Touch BlackBerry 10 Smartphone Designed for Customers in Indonesia
BlackBerry Partnership with Foxconn Inspires the Affordable New BlackBerry Z3 Smartphone
BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwired - Feb. 25, 2014) - Mobile World Congress 2014 - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced the BlackBerry® Z3 smartphone, a new all-touch BlackBerry® 10 smartphone designed with Indonesian customers in mind. Made for the next generation of BlackBerry customers in Indonesia, and customized with local apps and content, the stylish new BlackBerry Z3 smartphone features a modern design with a 5" display, long lasting battery and comes with BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.1.
"We are excited to introduce the new BlackBerry Z3, the first smartphone to emerge from our strategic partnership with Foxconn, which was announced in mid-December, 2013," said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry. "The BlackBerry Z3 embodies all that BlackBerry 10 offers, with its exceptional productivity features and reliable communications, in a stylish, all-touch design made affordable for customers in Indonesia."
"BlackBerry is beloved in Indonesia and its loyal fans have made it a popular smartphone brand. This is why we are so proud to be able to help bring BlackBerry even closer to Indonesia with a fantastic product that will be accessible to even more Indonesians. This is only the beginning of what we know will be a long and fruitful partnership between Foxconn and BlackBerry," said Terry Gou, Founder and Chairman, Foxconn.
The new BlackBerry Z3 smartphone is customized with access to local apps and Indonesian content and comes with the latest BlackBerry 10 OS, version 10.2.1, that will make the things you do every day faster and easier. Key features include:
- BlackBerry® Hub - The ever present BlackBerry Hub lets you access all your work and personal email, BBM™, text messages, social media updates and notifications in one place, with the ability to "peek" into the BlackBerry Hub from anywhere, so you're always only one swipe away from what matters to you. The Hub can be customized to identify priority messages and to filter the message list by various criteria that you can then activate with a simple pinch gesture.
- BBM - BBM on the BlackBerry Z3 smartphone includes all the latest features of the popular mobile social network, customized for Indonesians. You get BBM voice and video chatting with Screen Share and support for BlackBerry Natural Sound, letting you hear nuances and variations in tone in a BBM Voice chat, and making the conversation sound like you're in the same room. BBM Channels features a variety of Indonesian channels as well as a package of BBM stickers that have been specially designed by an Indonesian artist.
- BlackBerry Keyboard - The BlackBerry Keyboard learns what words you use and how you use them, then offers them up to you so you can type faster and more accurately. It gives you the best Bahasa Indonesia typing experience on a touchscreen, complete with multi-language support that lets you type in up to 3 different languages at the same time.
- Time Shift & Story Maker - The BlackBerry Z3 smartphone's astonishing Time Shift camera feature lets you capture a group shot where everyone is smiling with their eyes wide open. You can also use Story Maker to bring a collection of photos and videos together, along with music and effects, to produce an HD movie that you can instantly share on YouTube.
- BlackBerry 10 Browser - The BlackBerry 10 browser sets the industry benchmark for HTML5 performance on smartphones, and is incredibly fast, with fluid and responsive scrolling and zooming. The browser includes many advanced features, supports multiple tabs, lets you browse sites privately, includes a reader mode, and integrates with the platform for easily sharing content. You can even save web pages for later viewing.
- Instant Previews & Reply Now - Be more timely and responsive with Instant Previews that bring BBM, SMS and email message to you no matter what you are doing on your BlackBerry Z3 smartphone. You can even reply to your BBM or SMS messages in any app, or swipe to the BlackBerry Hub to respond. If you get a phone call that you can't answer right way, you can instantly silence the call and send a Reply Now response through BBM, SMS or email to let the caller know you're busy.
- Fast, Easy Sharing - The BlackBerry Z3 smartphone learns how you share and who you share with, helping you reduce the number of steps and amount of time it takes to get your files, photos, or documents to where they need to go. Touching "share" in any app provides suggestions on who and how to share your files based on who you've shared with in the past, and the feature only gets smarter the more you use it.
- FM Radio - The new BlackBerry Z3 includes a built-in FM radio. You can listen to local FM stations, which does not require any network connection.
The new BlackBerry Z3 smartphone is expected to be available from leading carriers and retailers in Indonesia in April. Further details on pricing and availability will be announced at launch.
For more information about BlackBerry 10, visit www.blackberry.com/blackberryz3.