Blackberry launches new Q5 smartphone with a physical keyboard at conference -

Blackberry launches new Q5 smartphone with a physical keyboard at conference


ORLANDO, Fla. – BlackBerry’s third new smartphone this year will be another model with a physical keyboard that the company expects will come out this summer.

Chief executive Thorsten Heins told the company’s technology conference in Florida on Tuesday that the new device is aimed at emerging markets where the company continues to hold on to a significant market share.

“I think you’re really going to like it, it is sleek, slim, high-performance device,” Heins said.

The BlackBerry Q5 will be available in several colours including red, black, white and pink.

BlackBerry (TSX:BB) launched the first much-delayed Z10 touchscreen and Q10 keyboard versions of its smartphones earlier this year.

The company’s stock slipped 17 cents to C$15.87 on the Toronto Stock Exchange shortly after the Q5 announcement.

Heins has said he wants Blackberry to create a portfolio of smartphones that expands beyond the higher priced models into both a mid-priced and entry level version of the device.

The BlackBerry chief executive also announced that the number of applications for its BB10 smartphones has grown significantly since its new operating system launched earlier this year.

Heins noted that there are now 120,000 apps available, up from 70,000 on Jan. 30.

He also announced that synthesizer maker Moog would be launching its app for BlackBerry as well as Skype.

In the meantime, the conference in Orlando gives BlackBerry an opportunity to dazzle a captive audience while delivering a message to consumers that it’s still in the game to compete with Apple and Android smartphones.

On Tuesday night, the company will hold the traditional party at it has at Universal Studios. This year Alicia Keys will perform, as well as R&B singer Miguel and Alabama Shakes.

The concert is scheduled to be streamed online for free at the BlackBerry website.

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