BlackBerry CEO says company has no plans to offer super-cheap smartphonesAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Looks like HTC isn't the only company that has decided to shun the low-end handset market. As noted by Bloomberg, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins recently revealed during a Q&A session at a conference that his company has no plans to enter the low-end market with cheap $50 phones. "You will not see us getting into the 50-, 60-buck phone segment. This is not BlackBerry," Heins said. The exec explained the decision by saying that BlackBerry must avoid moving into market segments that won't serve the company's purpose and bring value to its shareholders.
While BlackBerry has no plans to get into the ultra-cheap handset market, that doesn't mean that it won't be cranking out more affordable BlackBerry 10 devices. Heins confirmed that BlackBerry is prepping less-expensive handsets for emerging markets like India, and while those devices will be cheaper, that doesn't mean that they'll miss out on important features. "You will see new products being launched this year based on BlackBerry 10, all fully LTE-capable, the whole 10 yards, that are more geared towards those price bands where people need to be," Heins said.
BlackBerry is currently working to reestablish itself as a major player in the smartphone world, and the new BlackBerry 10 operating system and Z10 smartphone are the first steps in the company's attempt to do that. The Waterloo firm needs to focus on getting high-end, attractive hardware out into the world to show off its new software and make the platform more attractive to consumers. Heins has also noted in the past that BlackBerry intends to continue to offer some BlackBerry 7 products to help fill out its low-end and mid-range while BlackBerry 10 is still new, so Heins and Co. could offer those BlackBerry 7 devices to customers that want a super cheap smartphone for now. Based on what we've seen so far, what do you think of BlackBerry's odds of regaining its former glory?