BlackBerry to continue to push BB7 alongside BB10 in emerging marketsAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
BlackBerry 10 may be the new hotness from the company formerly known as RIM, but BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins knows that he can't just toss aside BlackBerry 7 now that BB10-powered products are hitting shelves. In an interview with The Canadian Press, Heins explained that BlackBerry plans to release some new BlackBerry 7 hardware in emerging markets, where some consumers can't afford the higher-end BlackBerry 10 devices that are currently available. "We want to give them a good BlackBerry experience. So this is where probably another BlackBerry 7 product in that range makes a lot of sense," Heins said.
We've heard Heins say before that BlackBerry intends to keep its BlackBerry 7 devices on around until it can fill out a full portfolio of BlackBerry 10 products. For those of us in the U.S., that likely means that we'll just see older devices continue to occupy store shelves, but it sounds like emerging markets may get a new BB7-powered phone or two. Such a move makes sense for BlackBerry. Rather than risk losing their fans to another mobile OS while waiting for more affordable BlackBerry 10 devices, BlackBerry can introduce a new piece of BlackBerry 7 hardware to keep them addicted to that little blinking notification light.
Of course, BlackBerry doesn't intend on keeping BlackBerry 10 out of these emerging markets just because it may introduce new BlackBerry 7 products. Heins said that we'll see both types of products coexist in those markets until cheaper BB10 devices arrive. As for when that'll happen, Heins recently revealed that the first mid-range BB10 hardware should land in the middle of the company's fiscal year, which would be sometime around September. That doesn't mean that there will be a BlackBerry drought between now and then, though, as the BlackBerry Q10 will begin its global rollout this month, with a U.S. launch expected in May or June. It certainly sounds like BlackBerry has got its plans together, so now we just have to wait and see how consumers react to the Z10, Q10 and the other new hardware that the company's got up its sleeve.