BlackBerry CEO Eager Not To Fall Behind, Again

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BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) CEO Thorstein Heins understands that his company’s new smartphones, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10, are not a quick fix to the declining sales of BlackBerry phones. Thus, he plans on unveiling a wide array of BlackBerry phones this year, targeted at economies around the world, in order to stay relevant in the smartphone industry.

With top competitors like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung planning on releasing new smartphones later this year, the pressure was on for Heins to announce similar plans, reports CBC News.

“In order to stay relevant, we have to build a portfolio,” Heins said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “We will bring it out at the moment when we can expect the biggest market attention for these products.”

Specifically, the new phones will target three main tiers: smartphones for high-end users, in addition to cheaper models at mid- and entry-level prices. The lower models would presumably be targeted at countries like India and Indonesia— economies with billions of potential customers and a niche for a cheaper phone.

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The announcement is a smart and predictable move for BlackBerry. Heins seems intent on not making the same mistakes as his predecessors, those infamous for resting on their laurels while companies like Apple and Samsung innovated their way right by.

The commitment to low-end phones, too, is a logical move. Rumors of Apple releasing a cheaper version of the iPhone have permeated for months. In order to compete with the big dogs of the smartphone industry, BlackBerry must venture into their playground. In this case, that means India and Indonesia, and they must balance an urge to get their cheap phones in the market first with a commitment to making the phone a viable, innovative option.

The moves, while predictable, are nonetheless necessary and signify a step in the right direction for BlackBerry. All that remains to be seen is whether or not they can produce new high-end phones that will continue to innovate, and low-end phones that can be competitively priced without losing functionality.

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