BlackBerry CEO Heins Unveils New Mid-Tier Phone

Reuters with CNBC.com
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 | 8:56 AM ET
Blackberry launches their new Q5 smartphone.
Source: Blackberry
Blackberry launches their new Q5 smartphone.

BlackBerry unveiled a new mid-tier smartphone device with a physical keyboard on Tuesday, the feature that still sets it apart from most rivals, and said its make-or-break new devices had put the company back on "solid ground."

Following the report, the company's shares fell in trade. (Click here to track BlackBerry stock.)

The Canadian company, which hopes new smartphones powered by its BlackBerry 10 operating system will prompt a turnaround, said the new Q5 mid-tier phone would be available in the summer in a range of colors including, red, white, black and pink.

The phone features a 3.1-inch touchscreen above the keyboard. It's scheduled to launch in some parts of Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia beginning in July.

In his keynote, CEO Thorsten Heins touted the new device as a mobile phone for developing countries.

BlackBerry, which changed its name from Research In Motion, has bled market share to Apple's iPhone and Samsung Electronics' wildly popular line of Galaxy devices, which are powered by Google's Android operating system.

(Read More: Nokia's Market Share Slumps, Unveils New Smartphone )

The company launched its first Blackberry 10 devices, the Z10 and Q10, earlier this year and Heins said that customer reaction has been "terrific."

"In one short year we have brought this company to a profitable quarter," Heins said.

He also said app developers have been drawn to the Blackberry 10 platform since its launch. One-third of app developers now target Blackberry as their prime platform, he said.

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