BlackBerry’s new KEYone smartphone could boost company’s fortunes
As Blackberry and brand licensee TCL jointly kickstarted the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 with the launch of KEYone, analysts believe the new smartphone might see some success for the company if they play their cards right.mobileworldcongress2017 Updated: Feb 26, 2017 02:03 IST
As Blackberry and brand licensee TCL jointly kickstarted the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 with the launch of KEYone, analysts believe the new smartphone might see some success for the company if they play their cards right.
“The new BlackBerry portfolio has a chance of success, because few companies now offer BlackBerry-style design and features, and the productivity-focused smartphone segment is underserved. But TCL must be careful not to price itself out of its target segment,” Ian Fogg, head of mobile analysis at IHS, said, adding: “Microsoft’s failure to establish Windows 10 Mobile as the enterprise smartphone OS provides a second chance for BlackBerry to re-establish its mobile market presence.”
Fogg also said that Samsung’s security offering Knox has had recent security failings and Knox is often lost in the marketing noise as one part of Samsung’s vast portfolio of phones and software features. This should also provide a window of opportunity for BlackBerry.
Fogg also noted that even if BlackBerry’s smartphone share remains so low that it is hard to quantify the vast scale of the smartphone market – over 1.5 billion units are expected to ship in 2017 – it means even a tiny share would represent significant unit volumes and revenues compared with almost any other device in the market.
Watch Alex Thurber of BlackBerry talk to Hindustan Times about DTEK Security
In November last year, the Canandian handset-maker had launched two smartphones – DTEK 50 and DTEK 60 – priced at Rs 21,990 and Rs 46,990 respectively.
But selling the phones globally can be a challenge, the IHS analysis claims. “Selling significant volumes of smartphones will be a challenge for TCL, because BlackBerry’s sales unit volumes in recent years have addressed other audiences,” Fogg explained.
At its peak, BlackBerry shipped 53 million smartphones in 2011 but shipments dropped rapidly to 3.90 million just four years later in 2015 because of the delayed disruption impact of Apple’s iPhone and especially of Google’s Android OS.
The BlackBerry KEYone will come to all countries in April and will sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor running on Android 7.0 Nougat. The phone will draw power from a 3,505 mAh battery and consumers will also get the DTEK security app with monthly security patches.