BlackBerry pursues recovery with Z3 'budget' handset launch

BlackBerry this week kicks off its attempt to reinvigorate global sales with the launch of a "budget" smartphone aimed at emerging markets.

BlackBerry: rollis out Z3 handset in Indonesia
BlackBerry: rollis out Z3 handset in Indonesia

The Z3 handset, the first to be launched since chief executive John Chen took over in November, will be rolled out exclusively in Indonesia, with other emerging markets expected to follow.

It is the first product to emerge from a partnership with Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn, which BlackBerry hopes will help it to regain market share from the likes of Apple, Samsung and HTC.

The product comes with a five-inch touchscreen and lacks the physical keyboard of many previous BlackBerry devices. It is expected to retail at around $200 (£118),  which the firm hopes will allow it to rapidly expand in markets such as Indonesia.

When the product was unveiled in February, Chen said: "The BlackBerry Z3 embodies all that BlackBerry 10 offers, with its exceptional productivity features and reliable communications, in a stylish, all-touch design made affordable for customers in Indonesia."

It comes in the same week that Nissan is to revive its Datsun marque in the Indonesian market.

Earlier this year, BlackBerry became embroiled in a spat with T-Mobile over a promotion that offered its customers a free upgrade to an iPhone 5s. The US ad said: "Get the tools to do more. Great offer for BlackBerry customers."