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

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.