BlackBerry (BBRY) unveiled a budget smartphone in Indonesia today. The Z3 Jakarta Edition will be sold for about $191, much less the company's other premium models. The Z3 Jakarta Edition goes on sale Thursday exclusively in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
The new smartphone is the first to launch since John Chen took over as BlackBerry’s CEO in November. It remains to be seen if this is the beginning of a turnaround for the company that has seen its share of the smartphone market shrink dramatically in the last several years due to the rise of Samsung's smartphones and Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone.
Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli doesn’t think the new Z3 will change things for the company. “It’s a niche product only in certain parts of the world and only where the service has a little bit of foothold in terms of mindshare,” he said.
Santoli said BlackBerry can continue to survive because it has cash and its BlackBerry Messenger system might be valuable, but he doesn’t foresee a turnaround for the company. “It’s not about BlackBerry coming back and regaining tons of lost market share,” he said. “It’s about them finding smaller, narrower ways to keep going and maybe have, as I said, a niche product.”
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