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BlackBerry 7 phones to target emerging markets

MobileNews
by Chloe Albanesius, 02 Apr 2013News
BlackBerry 7 phones to target emerging markets

Though BlackBerry has made a huge push for its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, there's still some life left in its earlier offering, BlackBerry 7.

In an interview with the CBC, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said the company will release new phones running BlackBerry 7 in certain countries.

The move means BlackBerry can provide lower-cost phones in emerging markets, where BlackBerry continues to be quite popular. "We want to give [customers there] a good BlackBerry experience," Heins told CBC. "So this is where probably another BlackBerry 7 product in that range makes a lot of sense."

BlackBerry 10 devices will also be sold in those markets, but both operating systems will be offered "for a while," Heins said.

BlackBerry 7 OS was released in late 2011. BlackBerry 10 was supposed to debut a year later, but coding issues pushed its release until 30 January, 2013. The first smartphone running BB10 - the BlackBerry Z10 - debuted soon after. A BB10 smartphone with the traditional QWERTY keyboard, the BlackBerry Q10, is also expected shortly.

In other BlackBerry news, a random Twitter account, @BB10Leaks, posted an image last night that suggested the company was working on BlackBerry 10-based tablets. This morning, however, the account tweeted that the post was an April Fool's joke.

BlackBerry has thus far made no announcement about BlackBerry 10 tablets. Its last tablet effort, the BlackBerry PlayBook, was not particularly successful. In December 2011, the company took a $485 million (£318 million) hit related to lacklustre PlayBook sales, prompting steep price cuts.

The delay of BB10, meanwhile, took its toll on BlackBerry in 2012, but the firm announced last month that it had sold 1 million Z10 smartphones in the last two months, and earned $2.7 billion (£1.8 billon) in revenue during the quarter ending 2 March, more than many expected.

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