While most of use are still waiting for BlackBerry 10 hardware to arrive in the first place, or trying to get a solid read on sales figures in order to figure out whether or not the platform is a hit, BlackBerry’s CEO has his sights well out into the future, and he recently had the opportunity to talk about what that means for lower-priced BlackBerry 10 models.
Like most smartphone companies out there, BlackBerry knows that there are buckets of cash to be made in developing markets, so long as they can provide hardware at the right price points. For BlackBerry, that doesn’t mean trying to beat out the super-cheap Androids, a point Heins is unequivocal about, saying, “you will not see us getting into the 50-, 60-buck phone segment. This is not BlackBerry.”
Instead, BlackBerry will aim just a little higher, targeting users who have some money to spend but are still looking for a great value. Although we had been thinking that we wouldn’t see any new BlackBerry 10 models until next year, these cheaper BB10 handsets could get here much sooner. Heins says, “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.”
What we don’t know yet is if these budget-priced BlackBerrys will also be introduced to developed markets.