BLACKBERRY UNVEILS THE LEAP

“BlackBerry Leap is for those who propel themselves forward in order to build a legacy. Not bound by the traditional 9 to 5 lifestyle, BlackBerry Leap users need a battery that can outlast them so they don’t have to make excuses or miss a step. They are known for what they type, not typos, so they require a best-in-class keyboard experience..

..Ideas, energy and drive are at the core of a rising star. You mean serious business and so do we. The new BlackBerry Leap, everything you expect from a BlackBerry in a powerful all-touch smartphone.”

These are just some of the promises made by BlackBerry, after they unveiled their new mid-market smartphone on Tuesday. Dubbed the BlackBerry Leap, this new creation is set to replace the Z3 device launched a year ago, in a move to woo buyers in certain emerging markets where BlackBerry still has a fairly large client base.

These efforts at targeting real issues may be hampered by their desire to create their own version of every successful software. This is shown in the announcement they made earlier this week at MWC, when BlackBerry announced it planned to bring in new features including the BlackBerry Hub and its virtual keyboard across to devices powered by rival platforms such as Android, Windows and iOS.

The Slide

The company also said it planned to roll out two more models over the course of the next months, both with a keyboard.

One will be a high-end smartphone with what Blackberry called “a dual curve all touch display” with a keyboard behind a slide. That may refer to the sort of curved screen featured in Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphone, which by the way seems to be more of a gimmick than of any practical use.

“We don’t have a code name for it but I call it The Slide,” BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen told media in Barcelona. “It will come some time this year,” he added without giving a specific date.

Blackberry’s Track Record

BlackBerry, once a must-have device for business executives and government officials because of its pioneering secure email service, has hemorrhaged market share to Apple’s iPhone and rivals running on Google’s Android software.

In a bid to remain relevant, the company has pivoted in the last year to focus much more on its software business and core strengths such as data security. However, the company has stressed it remains committed to its devices business.

At MWC last year, BlackBerry unveiled the Z3, which was priced at under €200. The Z3 was aimed at reviving BlackBerry sales in emerging markets such as Indonesia, but failed to make much of an impact. They are hoping this year will see a rise in their sales with these new releases.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company, unveiled the Blackberry Leap at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona,  and set a a release date for  April of this year. Price will hover around €250.

For more MWC news, see The Blackphone is Back.

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