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  • BlackBerry goes back to the keyboard to recover sales

    BlackBerry Ltd unveiled a new, cheaper touchscreen smartphone and a "classic" model with a keyboard on Tuesday, as it tries to stem losses and win back a once devoted following by security-conscious business and government users.

    The Z3 smart phone, which is to be priced at under $200, is being built under a partnership deal with FIH Mobile Ltd - the Hong Kong-listed unit of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn.

    Code named Jakarta, it will go on sale in April in Indonesia, where BlackBerry's BBM messaging service is proving very popular, said John Chen, the group's new chief executive who took over late last year.

    "It's going to be under $200 on retail price," he said at the annual Mobile World Congress trade fair in Barcelona.

    "It's a 3G phone, and we have a plan to expand the phone to different parts of southeast Asia after Indonesia, and in addition we have a plan to go global with an LTE (high speed 4G) version of it some time in the future."

    BlackBerry, once a must-have device for every business executive and government official because of its pioneering secure email service, has haemorrhaged market share to Apple's iPhone and rival devices running on Google's Android software.

    Opening up its BBM messaging service to be available on other operating systems - with Windows Phone the latest addition - has further hit device sales, particularly in emerging markets.
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