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BlackBerry goes back to basics in quest to recover customers

Published on Feb 26, 2014 6:08 AM
A Blackberry logo is seen at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo, in this Sept 23, 2013, file photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BARCELONA/TORONTO (REUTERS) - BlackBerry Ltd unveiled a new, cheaper touchscreen smartphone and a "classic" model with a keyboard on Tuesday, as it tries to stem losses and win back once-devoted security-conscious business and government users.

The news, coupled with more details about the company's strategy in its services business, helped send shares in BlackBerry surging more than 9 per cent.

The lower-end Z3 smartphone, priced at under US$200 (S$253), is being built under a partnership deal with FIH Mobile, the Hong Kong-listed unit of Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn Technology Co Ltd.

Code named Jakarta, the device will go on sale in April in Indonesia, where BlackBerry's BBM messaging service is proving very popular, said Mr John Chen, who took over as the group's chief executive late last year.

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