Right — just to get things straight — this article is based on my own thoughts and from a UK perspective. With the BlackBerry Z3 getting announced at Mobile World Congress and being targeted at the Indonesian market, initially I felt compelled to share my thoughts on where the Z3 should go after it's launch.
The Foxconn manufactured device is hitting Indonesia first as that's where BlackBerry feel they need (and may well get) the most traction in the low cost smartphone market. BlackBerry CEO John Chen stated that the Z3 should cost under $200 which in my opinion seems a very reasonable price. Then again, I'm also not in Indonesia.
Over the past few years here in the UK the BlackBerry Curve series has had massive success and in fact was the best selling smartphone two years in a row. The issue now is that all the BlackBerry 7 devices are dated in comparison with the not only the competition, but BlackBerry 10 devices too.
And then there's the price. Here in the UK you can pick up a BlackBerry Curve 9320 for just over £100. The BlackBerry Z10 has seen a huge drop in price since it's release and now hovers around the £160 mark on Pay As You Go. However, if I'm doing the math right and the $200 BlackBerry Z3 hits the UK it should sell for about £120 — not far from the current price of a BlackBerry Curve.
Historically, the UK has had a big subscriber base for BlackBerry and if the Z3 rolls out here as soon as possible, I don't see why it shouldn't be the perfect upgrade choice for current BlackBerry 7 users and also people picking up there first smartphone. Looking at the enterprise side of things, you only need to take a journey into London on a train to notice how many business men and women pull out their trusty BB7 device to bang out emails. Could the low cost Z3 be the perfect upgrade to BlackBerry 10 for them? They'll still have the ultimate in mobile security, but without breaking the bank.
BlackBerry themselves are going to have to plow some marketing into this one — not only the normal 'new device' advertising, but now with the simple installing of Android apps, there is no reason for BlackBerry to not retain customers in my opinion.
In terms of the competition, currently in Great Britain there's a selection of Android and Windows Phones you can pick up for less money than the Z3 will be. However, none of them are packing a 5-inch display, which may go in BlackBerry's favor.
When it comes to specs the average consumer won't know the difference between processors and screen technology so as far as I'm concerned the specs are not a major factor with the Z3. The beauty with BlackBerry 10 is the user experience and for people that have not had the opportunity to try the OS we're going to also need some help from the retail outlets in terms of customer service.
There aren't any UK high street retailers that stock all the BlackBerry 10 handsets that I'm aware of. BlackBerry needs to ensure that the Z3 is available on every possible carrier around the world in due course and I can't see any reason why that shouldn't happen. Sure, the likes of the U.S. market may need some persuading when it comes to a low cost BlackBerry (if it goes on sale there at all) but if the Z3 starts well in terms of sales in Indonesia we'll have a clearer understanding of its market placement around the globe.
If the price is kept low, the marketing is in place and the handset itself is sturdy and reliable then Indonesia need only be the tip of the iceberg for the BlackBerry Z3.
Is this too much wishful thinking on my part or are you with me on this one? Let us know in the comments!