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BlackBerry announces the Z3 to launch in Hong Kong

Z3
By James Richardson on 3 Jul 2014 04:24 am EDT
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Hot off the press - as the BlackBerry Z3 makes it way through Asia, today sees the latest BlackBerry 10 handset announced for yet another country - this time in Hong Kong.

The BlackBerry Z3 will be available to customers from July 8, 2014 through carrier 3 Hong Kong, and authorized partners including Broadway, Fortress, Wilson, Suning, Chung Yuen, Nuance Watson and CMK.  

Gallant Leon, Managing Director for Hong Kong and Taiwan at BlackBerry said, "Hong Kong is a key market for us and we are excited to be working with our partners to bring in the BlackBerry Z3 to customers here. This device gives users more ways to connect, share and communicate, providing the best tool for secure, reliable communications and collaboration with friends, family and co-workers. Priced affordably, the BlackBerry Z3 will extend the full capabilities of the BlackBerry 10 Operating System version 10.2.1 experience for a new generation of customers in Hong Kong."

Are you in Hong Kong and tempted? For the money the Z3 sure is good value. It may not be quite as high spec as the Z30, but it sure is a beautiful BlackBerry and I speak from experience - I have one.

Reader comments

BlackBerry announces the Z3 to launch in Hong Kong

138 Comments

When I visited Hong Kong, I noticed that status symbols were everything. Even the expensive shops are open past midnight just to cater to the wealthy business folks. People go to Macau (2hour ferry) just for lunch, so I am very curious to see if this relatively non-existent user base will catch onto the 'status' symbol of the new BlackBerry.

Can't wait to see some numbers....

Now we are talking business! and invade even the heart of China after baby!!!!!!

I hope they just will be aware of the price, they just launched a really high end (OnePlus One) and it's ridiculously priced.

Good strategy, there are more than 100k Indonesian workers in Hongkong, second largest behind Filipinos. Worth to try.

Posted via CB10

The Indonesians are not buying phones there, they are lining up on their days off as domestic workers to send money home to their families.

Classifieds Canada and GeoYeo B4B Apps all the way!!!

Just worry a tiny bit with the timing because of all the protests there this week.
Hope it does well.

Frosty white Q10/10.2.1.3247

I meant that's it's tough to get any publicity for a new phone to be effective in times like that. Some shops have been known to not even open for a few days when similar things happen around the world (just in case).

Frosty white Q10/10.2.1.3247

Not in Hong Kong. It's all about business here. Maybe Blackberry's security could be a selling point for the protests though: Communicate securely to co-ordinate with your fellow protestors LOL

Exactly. I hope the organisers are not foolish enough to use iPhones and Androids with Whatsapp, which can be readily hacked into. The Q10 would be ideal - with a physical keyboard, you type in pouring rain.

Posted via CB10

Hope there's enough supply and they show up on eBay soon.

Getting a lot of stuff from Hongkong and Shenzhen to Australia via eBay. I'm fine with 3G+ here.

Pasted via CB chen

Yeah, you can get a Z30 for $450 (AUD) on eBay. I know what I'd prefer!!!

Posted with the brilliance of my Z10

Pls tell me, which OS are you using on your z10 for extra battery life, or are you using any high capacity replacement battery for your z10?

Posted via CB10

Would you also like to discuss everyone's favorite recipes for chicken? How is that ome of you people don't have enough sense to use the appropriate areas to ask questions? Want to ask about Z10 batteries? Use the Z10 forum.

It is my responsibility to provide the knowledge, it is your choice whether you learn.
Class dismissed. <end rant>

"Open line" is apparently a Philippine English term for unlocked devices.

Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone.

Don't waste your money on an open line . Just be patient, it will come. But if it was dual sim and open line hehe maybe that would be worth it.

Posted via CB10

It hasn't been for a while. This will be a huge uphill battle for Blackberry in Hong Kong. I've been there a couple times over the past 3 years and all I have seen are iPhones and Samsungs. A few Sonys here and there, but it was really dominated by Apple and Samsung. Very few Blackberrys there. On the train, you may see some and it looks like it is for work as it is promptly put away and out comes the iphone or Samsung device. I hope Blackberry can pull this off. Would love to see Blackberry do well there and everywhere.

Checked with my sources in India...the pre order and opening sales haven't been good. Moto G giving Z3 a run for its money in Indian sales. I guess many are waiting on sidelines to see if price comes down by Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 then the sales shall blast like they did for the Z10 from Rs 43,000 to Rs 16,000/- current price.
Also many of the Z3 inquiries are getting converted into Z10 sales as dealers are getting more commission for Z10 as its near end of product cycle and Blackberry wants to clear those inventories. Thanks!

Won't happen any time soon. Will get to 12K in 4 to 6 months.

This is the start of BlackBerry holding the line. The Z10 fiasco is very unlikely to be repeated. People are spoiled and expect BlackBerry will throw away the handsets for essentially no profit. You do not build brand value by giving away your product. Not happening.

Add the controlled rollout to other markets, tight inventory control and there is no reason to discount the price.

If they see India volume low, they will divert the inventory to other markets and reduce the supply.

And what happens when Z10s are finally gone?

As a consumer and a shareholder I prefer this approach. Did my bit. Ordered 2 from Flipkart.

Posted via CB10

I think that's the plan. Get rid of all Z10 by keeping Z3 price higher. Eventually, Z3 will be lower in couple of months.

Available mid July through Vodacom. Retail for R2999. I'm glad I got the Z10 new three weeks ago for less than the Z3.

Posted via CB10

John Chen is originally from HongKong. I hope he can turn around BlackBerry in HongKong and open up Mainland China.

That would be K-Ching moment.

ॐ BBM channeling at C003910CB

Great news, wondering if the Z3 can gain traction in Hong Kong.

Wondering though, do you guys think it's done on purpose, this staged release?

They should market it as the best way to organise the protest rallies without getting caught like in London last time. Hahaha

Posted from my super duper Z30!

List price is HK$2088, i.e. USD270.

It's a 3G phone with 1 SIMM slot. I don't think it has any market in Hong Kong at all.

Posted via CB10

JC mentioned he's hoping to sell a million of these phones right? Releasing in all these up and coming markets a million is too low of a number. China and India alone have over 2 billion people. Hopefully he's using a lower number intentionally and the phone does really well.
I agree with a comment above that the price is too high doe China considering the number of Android phones available at a much lower price point.

I am a Hong Konger. Actually I'm really excited for the launch of z3. However, there are a lot of better choose for those normal Hong Kong citizen. Such as the product from Xiomi, Asus Zenfone which are high CP value's smartphone. I would say I will buy the z3 but z3 will not make any changes or impact for Hong Kong smartphone market!

Posted via CB10

Actually there are nearly no any positive comment from those technology news media. BlackBerry Hong Kong claims the device selling point is the possibility of using APK which the shown that Z3 could run most of the android application. However, some media use Nokia XL to compare with Z3 which they are both apk-able. I want to point out that the Hong Kong 4G network is already well developed, many of the citizens or business people are using 4G already. If.... I mean If...... they could provide a 4G version in Hong Kong, there is a possibility to get some market share. Otherwise, No way out. Btw some people mentioned Hong Kong has a lot of India or south east Asia maid are working! However, most of them enjoy large screen as their phone, especially Samsung7" tab.......

Posted via CB10

Still puzzled why they do think, Asia or "Emerging Markets " are non LTE markets.
These countries tends to invest heavily in wireless infrastructure to bridge the gap. thus, LTE is by far better than in France for example. They are many Chinese alternatives and not necessarily bad quality ones offering LTE.

So if they target business consumers with the Z3 it may be satisfactory as many financial institutions are still working with very old devices maybe OS 6.0 and micro screens.

Unsure of the consumer market because of the fun factor.

Posted via CB10

Maybe if you want to speak specifically about Hong Kong. In many of the other markets where it's being introduced, not so much (apparently India's 4G infrastructure is close to nonexistent at this point).

I too find the manner in which the Z3 is being released quite interesting. The focus on Asia is deliberate and it is my impression that the design of the Z3 fits this market.

First, one of BlackBerry's real strengths is phone reception and Internet connectivity. In far less than ideal conditions, calls go through and emails make it to their destinations. This is a big consideration in countries where cellular/wifi infrastructure is less than ideal. Second, the Z3 hits a real sweet spot in terms of capabilities and pricing. For a very modest price, you get a highly capable/stable platform and reasonably good hardware to match. The 5 inch screen is no accident and gives the phone a "value feel" to it. This is different than "cheap" where Android devices dominate.

I will go out on a limb and say that "value phones" are the future. Say what you want but the capabilities of the smartphone hadn't really changed the past few years. Consequently it will be hard to justify the high pricing structure of the past. The struggles of the S5 and the discounting of the 5s are emblematic of the market shift underway.

It is my impression that the Z3 and it's focus on value should have significant appeal in Asia and could have in NA. Of course in NA, BlackBerry has to strengthen it's branding which is why Asia has been target of investment.

If BlackBerry is successful, it will be able to increase its user base and over time build a stronger ecosystem that isn't so heavily tied to Android. Once this happens, That is when the Z3 will makes its way to NA.

Value phones are the future but NA will likely be the last place that they will be marketed. Apple and Samsung can maintain some pricing pressure by leveraging the strength of their ecosystem. That leverage is weakening as consumers weigh price against necessities. Going forward, the hardware side of the business is going to take a big hit in the next few years. The software side is the place to be. BlackBerry is well positioned to take advantage.

Posted via CB10

The greater China market is a huge one that blackberry must figure out in the long run. Even a 1% market share there is several hundred thousand units per year and I think they are closer to zero now

Hope the they release the Z3 soon in Latin America and Africa!

Posted via CB10

How able the USA? Did blackberry forget about us? It's no wonder why they can't grow market share here. They finally have a decent phone again a decent price and won't even sell it here.

Posted via CB10

American market is all Apple and even if Samsung wins a court case there the president gives Apple a special exemption. I'm sure the American market is looking less and less attractive to a lot of non-Apple companies.

Hong Kong is a pretty small market - you'd think it has to be some kind of dry run for China, otherwise it doesn't make that much sense as an investment.

HK has traditionally been an international business hub. Not that Shanghai isn't rivaling it at this point, but there are probably more North Americans and Europeans doing business in Hong Kong.

I seen BlackBerry launch Z3 in Hong Kong is moving positive direction. The Z3 prices seen is great to these Indonesian and Philippine domestic home maker and also is focal for local and China BlackBerry nation. Hong Kong dollars is weaker than chinese yuan. The Chinese people buy from Hong Kong and selling in China .

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry purposely exited the Chinese market. A re-entry will not be so simple. Software work needs to be done and a retail network needs to be rebuilt.

Glad to hear about Hong Kong. Perhaps BlackBerry is already doing this work behind the scenes for China but I think it's a little early for that. Right now is all about picking the low hanging fruit.

Posted via CB10

Not fancy about the Z3... Actually, Q10 & Z10 sells quite cheap in HK.
Looking forward for the Passport.

I'm in Hong Kong now, and I can tell you that aside from a Facebook posting I have seen zero promotiom so far. Hopefully that will change. But one thing that Bkackberry definately has wrong is that their Hong Kong website is only in Chinese. Every company knows that in Hong Kong there are quite a few people who can't read Chinese and therefore there is both an English and a Chinese site. If Blackberry can't even get this right it makes me worry for them. Will be checking out the z3 phones when they hit the shelves.

Good to know but I'm going to wait for the Passport. I'm in HK and I've not seen one Z10, Z30 or Q5 on the streets. Seen maybe 3 Q10s. Seen many old BlackBerry Bolds.

Q5

I have seen a few q10's. I've seen a shop that was selling the z10, nothing else. Hong Kong is mostly a sea of Samsung. Apple is very popular with the people that come over from mainland China.

I worry about all this talk of Blackberry ending their music and video store. I never buy content like that online (I much prefer the physical CD's and DVD's) but I know everyone else does like to download and it just seems like Blackberry is shooting themdelves in the foot with this, just getting the hardware up to where it's supposed to be and now discontinuing the software.

Consumers (the ones who will be buying the z3) want content. They don't like buying a shiny new phone and then having only 3 pre-loaded movies to choose from or something like that.

What does laying off 60+ people from the "developer relations team" mean? I would have thought that Chen would have wanted to sell lots if hardware and use that to get the ball rolling so that more developers would write native Bkackberry apps. Is he thinking that all new apps will be Android? If so then why not buy a Samsung and get full access to Google Play?

I hope Chen has a better plan than it appears at the moment.

In terms of contents, BlackBerry 10 is going to get Amazon Store. I don't think they would just stop with apps but likely provide music and video from Amazon, too.

Posted via CB10

Unless BlackBerry make significant changes to UI , appearance of the device and lastly most importantly get wechat working properly. It just won't make good sales

Posted via CB10

Wechat is popular mostly with Mandarin-speaking people from China; the local Hong Kong population mostly uses Whatsapp, so it should probably be OK...but it's smart to appeal to the broadest group possible.

It's hard to get all friends to migrate to BBM in one day. I use BBM with my closest friends though. It has voice and also video chat.

There's also BBM Channel which worths a try, especially it works in China, too.

Posted via CB10

It is hard to get any of my friend migrate to BBM.....even for those who have used the old BB for many years and moved to iPhone or Samsung....

BB10 devices may be success here in Hong Kong only if it includes Changjie - a commonly used Chinese character input method, perhaps also its simplified version. We get used to type Chinese based on how it looks like rather than how it sounds like. I can only handwrite on the tiny screen of my Q5 which is pure pain and waste of the keypad.

PS Its official price here is HK$2088.

I always have the impression of Hong Kong being a high end market when it comes to consumers product. Quite the opposite of Indonesia even India to some extent. It'll be interesting to see how the Z3 fare in Hong Kong.

Posted via CB10

Not really. There are a lots of people cannot afford high end phones like Note series or HTC One. Mid-ranged phones are popular here as they have good "C/P ratio" (Cost per Performance). Also, there are lots of foreign domestic workers from southeast Asia countries including Philippines and Indonesia who make less than HK$4000 a month, low to mid range phones are attractive to them.

I love HK and I love BlackBerry!!! And Chen is Chinese, he should be there personally and talk to the Chinese Community! Just a thought! Lol

Posted via CB10

One disturbing thing jumps out at me: Managing Director for Hing Kong is named "Gallant Leon". Obviously not Chinese. Not to sound racist but it's really important to have a local in a role like that. Hope I'm wrong but just sayin'.

Hong Kong use to be governed by the British. It's pretty common to have non-Chinese to helm the high position in companies and government departments. They do encourage the locals to get into the high ranking positions. Nothing unusual about it. That does not mean there's no discrepancy when it comes to appointing someone who is the right skin colour in executive position. But Hong Kong is not the most obvious choice of country to cast the racism light on.

I think you may have misunderstood my comment a bit. I didn't mean so much about "racist". I just meant that when you are trying to do something important in a particular market, it's important to have the right people. In this case, you need people who understand the market. Usually that would mean someone who was born there and lived there their whole life. They should have the understanding of the local market to know what people want. Granted that does not mean that just because someone is from Hong Kong that they automatically understand Hong Kong. morons are everywhere and Hong Kong has its fair share of them too. But generally speaking you want someone who knows the market.

If you were launching in Germany you wouldn't necessarily send a guy from the USA over there to handle it. Maybe if you were marketing to the Ukraine you wouldn't send a Russian over there to market it. If you were launching in India you would generally want an Indian to handle it; maybe someone from Pakistan wouldn't be the best choice.

That being said, however, like I say, even if you get a Hong Kong guy it doesn't mean he's the right one either.

Little things like the fact that Blackberry has a Chinese-only webpage for Hong Kong, despite the fact that any company, big or small has both Chinese and English sites for Hong Kong is indicating to me that perhaps Blackberry doesn't have their finger on the pulse of what the Hong Kong public wants.

Hope I'm wrong; I'd like Blackberry to hit it big here and everywhere else.

Terrible marketing so far though...I remember when the Blackberry Storm came out, there were ads everywhere, you couldn't miss them. So far for the z10? Nothing.

What is the definition of affordable though? I remember when they tried to launch the Torch, with specs falling far behind the competition, at flagship prices (i.e. parity to Samsung Galaxy S du jour).

That fell over badly. This phone has got to be cheap to even make it in HK at all, spare the touristy locations where the mainland visitors might pick it up.

See, now Hong Kong is a pretty robust (FDD) LTE market, so why are they sending the non-LTE model there? I hate when BB does this nickel and dime shit, and they do it a lot.

It's not a 4G device. BlackBerry won't launch a 3G device in North America.

There is a 4G version of the Z3 in the works, likely here this fall.

At last! Hong Kong is such a great place. Unsure if the z3 carry a sufficient fun factor though.
They Love LINE and shiny apps. Very "Cosplay "culture in their belongings but not necessarily in the way they dress.

So I hope this will do great there in the Samsung den.

Posted via CB10

I’ve said this, like, three times already, but I feel like we’re missing the point here.

Looking at the chart, it’s easy to see a pattern here. Q2 is historically BBRY’s biggest, sales-wise, and they generated a profit the last 2 Q2s in a row. The fact of the matter is, though, that sales are cyclical, and year over year sales are still down. This doesn’t bode well for BBRY. Their profits this quarter were primarily due to cost cutting, but a company can only cut costs for so long before they cease to exist. In the end, if BBRY can’t raise their year over year sales numbers, they’ll continue to die a slow death. Any measure they take, like the cost-cutting they did this quarter, will only be prolonging that process.

Disclosure: I’ve owned BBRY devices in the past, and would love nothing more than to see them succeed. Just trying to be a realist here.

It would only work if BlackBerry would like to clear some existing stock in their warehouse. Few basic reasons:

Hong Kong ppl alrdy got used to android and ios, they are too busy to learn something new unless it's worth it.

Z3 cannot compete with high end phones here with iPhone and htc one

Samsung dominates the market here and the Korean trend is going on in hk

Z3 has a duplicate hardware design with popular low end phone xiaomi here in hk

Solution:

Extremely expensive price of marketing campaign with billboards and celebrities, etc

Possible side strategy for blackberry:

Keeping blackberry brands in ppls head and to prepare for grand launch of passport and 'z50'

)) why not for classic? Most blackberry user left in hk alrdy switched to q10 or using bold 9930 still

Regards.

Posted via CB10

Well the launch is 12 hours away and what kind of promotion do I see in Hong Kong? Zero. Not a peep. I think Blackberry should get rid if this guy they have for Hong Kong and Taiwan...what's his name again? "Gallant" or something like that? Need someone who knows how to create marketing buzz, it's obvious it isn't happening right now :(

Lunch break from work and I went across the street to where several major telecom companies are: 3, One2free, PCCW, etc...not one z3 anywhere, the sales people I asked didn't even know what it was...I hope the z3 marketing elsewhere is better than it is here...

The only Ad I've seen is in Causeway Bay for Porcshe P9981 at the Tram station? That's it. No Z10, Z3, Z30, Q5, Q10???

Q5

Well the z3 supposedly launched on July 8th here in Hong Kong and I am in Fortress now on July 9th. They do not have any z3 here, only a few q10's for sale and a massive Apple display. The sales people didn't know what a z3 was when I asked them. Poor poor marketing by Blackberry as usual. If this is typical of Blackberry's "global rollout" of the z3 I'd say they are in trouble.

Blackberry, listen to me, this guy "Gallant" needs to be replaced with someone useful.

Finally, saw a shop sellung z3's today. In fact they only had a dummy phone, they said they sold their last one earlier today and if I want one I need to wait. Go Blackberry!