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BlackBerry Targets Low-End Markets

Zacks Equity Research

Canada-based Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY) launched the new BlackBerry Q5 low-cost handset based on the latest BB10 platform, thereby targeting the low-end of the market.

The new smartphone offers both QWERTY keypad and touch screen support. It also features a 5 MP camera coupled with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and an 8 GB expandable memory. Presently, the handset will be offered in four different colors (red, pink, white and black). The new mobile phone is expected to hit the stores by the beginning of July.

Growing popularity of BlackBerry smartphones across emerging nations like India and Latin American regions has induced the company to expand its BB10-based handset portfolio targeting different age and income groups. Both its earlier brands Z10 & Q10 were costing nearly $200. So, it is anticipated that the new device will cost much less than its previous models, thereby countering competition from other low-cost Android devices.

Research In Motion, which once dominated the smartphone market failed to upgrade its operating platform, losing market traction to Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iOS and Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android operating systems during the past few years.

In order to revamp its smartphone business, the company recently came up with a new user friendly BB10 operating system. The new LTE-based mobile device both Z10 & Q10 supports more than 70,000 users thereby offering strong resistance against the popular iOS and Android operating system.

Research In Motion has also added top carriers like AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Wireless to sell its new smartphones in the lucrative U.S. market.

Currently, Research In Motion carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

*Research In Motion announced that effective Jan 30, 2013; the company would operate around the world under the name BlackBerry. From Feb 4, 2013, the company’s ticker symbol for trading has been changed from “RIMM” to “BBRY” on NASDAQ. The legal name of the company has not changed, as the approval of the official change by shareholders will be sought at the company's Annual General Meeting later in 2013. During the time, the company will do business as BlackBerry.

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