BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has some serious challenges ahead of him. But when it comes to the prospect of selling ultra-low-cost smartphones in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia, he says BlackBerry isn’t going to even try to compete in that segment.
One of BlackBerry’s best bets in making a comeback is by leveraging its strength in international and emerging markets. But it wants to own the high-end purchases in these markets rather than the low end.
“Understand where you are playing and resist being talked into segments that you know will not serve your purpose and will not result in shareholder value,” Heins said during a question-and-answer session yesterday in Waterloo, Ontario. “You will not see us getting into the 50-, 60-buck phone segment. This is not BlackBerry.”
BlackBerry now sells its new flagship Z10 smartphone at unsubsidized price in India for 43,490 rupees ($800), and ideally it will attract the interest of wealthy Indian consumers. Eventually cheaper BlackBerry 10 models will arrive, but those will not be in the $50 range if Heins holds steady.
“You will see new products being launched this year based on BlackBerry 10, all fully LTE-capable, the whole 10 yards, that are more geared towards those price bands where people need to be,” Heins said.
Thorsten Heins screenshot via Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat
Filed under: Mobile
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