BlackBerry is taking one last shot at regaining relevance with the Z3, code named Jakarta, a new smartphone which offers a revised take on the failed Z10 which came before it. The new device runs a version of the BlackBerry 10 system software, which CEO Thorsten Heins had hoped would revitalize the company’ fortunes. But the “10” initiative resulted in a lineup that lacked the intuitiveness of the iPhone and also lacked the hardware choices of the Android platform, and appeared to be the end of BlackBerry’s road. But even with the public convinced that BlackBerry is dying, and its shrinking single digit marketshare pointing to the same, BlackBerry is still attempting to avoid ending up DOA. So what does the Z3 have to offer?
The short of it is that the Z3 is a budget phone aimed squarely at pinching marketshare away from the low end Android phones which sell in high volume to pedestrian users. Such devices tend to produce razor thin profit margins. But with BlackBerry having already failed to compete head on with industry leading devices like the iPhone or the Galaxy, the company appears to believe it can far better by going head to head with the low end of the market. BlackBerry is using the “Jakarta” name in reference to the Z3 for now, but’s unlikely the name will end up as part of the official marketing campaign, at least in the United States.
At this point the BlackBerry Z3 will face a lack of compatibility with apps from either the Apple App Store or Google Play (the clumsy partial emulation for Android apps built into BlackBerry 10 notwithstanding), and also faces the fact that most consumers no longer consider the BlackBerry brand to be relevant or desirable. But there are still a niche of longtime users who a partial to the BlackBerry platform, and the Z3 will give their preferred platform one more chance at sticking around.