Feeds

BlackBerry hits 88MPH, goes back to the future with NEW old 9720 mobe

Brainwave: Crank out a cheap QWERTY BB7 phone for Asia, Latin America

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

BlackBerry has announced a new phone for emerging markets: the BlackBerry 9720. It's not part of the shiny new BlackBerry OS 10 line-up of mobiles because it's powered by the ancient BlackBerry 7 OS, which last saw action in 2011.

It's the consequence of a mismatch between BlackBerry's swanky modern QNX-based operating system and the company's customers. BB OS 10 requires devices with 2GB of memory and a dual-core processor to run all its bells and whistles; the sort of hardware that sports a mid to high-end price tag.

However plenty of BlackBerry's punters can't afford that: those expecting low-cost handsets in emerging markets. While BlackBerry promised that BB OS 10 would be available across all price points in 2013, it hasn't been able to come up with the goods. Even the cheapest of the three BB OS 10 devices released to date - the Q5 - is still far too expensive to appeal to the $150 segment: it costs about £290 SIM-free in the UK (that's about $450 in the US).

Hence, the volte face. The 9720 will not be available in the West but in Asia and Latin America. It's a QWERTY handset with thumbpad and 2.8-inch screen similar to the low-cost Curve range, and sports a built-in FM radio. It has a 320 x 480 pixel display, an 800MHz processor with 512MB RAM, 5Mp camera and a 1,450mAh battery.

Its ancient OS has been tweaked to allow access to BlackBerry Messenger, FaceBook and Twitter. BlackBerry would rather not devote resources to its legacy OS, but has little other choice.

BB OS 10 turned out to be too much for BlackBerry's PlayBook, too. Having promised owners of the tablet a new version of the operating system, BB CEO Thorsten Heins announced the slab was being discontinued, in part owing to the poor performance of the OS.

The company, which has watched its market share nosedive in just five years, announced it was up for grabs yesterday. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.