The BlackBerry Q5’s Next Emerging Market? Canada.
Canada isn’t exactly the “emerging market” for which BlackBerry’s new Q5 smartphone was intended, but the company plans to launch it in the country anyway.
Come Aug. 13, the keyboard-equipped Q5 — which debuted in places like Dubai, Malaysia and Qatar — will go on sale in Canada, following its launch earlier this month in the United Kingdom. Its price has not yet been announced.
Billed as an affordable and hip counterpart to BlackBerry’s high-end Z10 device, the Q5 was originally intended for “emerging global markets” where demand for low-end handsets is particularly robust.
But BlackBerry now seems to be expanding its distribution to address what it says is growing interest in the device. Carrier and retailer demand for the Q5 in Canada has been “extremely high,” a BlackBerry spokesman told AllThingsD. He noted as well that the device is a cost-effective smartphone solution for students and business.
Which is a good point. Now, more than ever before, it’s important for smartphone manufacturers to offer devices to suit all markets and needs. And, while Google and Apple seem to have the high-end smartphone market all wrapped up, there’s still plenty of room in its middle and lower reaches. Wise, then, for BlackBerry, which is struggling to regain momentum in the market it created, to target that segment wherever it may be.