JAKARTA, Indonesia – BlackBerry launched a new lower-cost smartphone designed specifically for Indonesia on Tuesday in an attempt to win back market share that has plunged in recent years but remains higher than in many other nations.
The BlackBerry Z3, Jakarta Edition, was launched at a glitzy hotel in the capital, Jakarta. The company said it will go on sale Thursday for $191, considerably less than its higher-priced Z10 and Q10 devices. Analysts say the lack of a lower-priced phone has hurt Blackberry in Indonesia.
The phone is the first to be launched under new BlackBerry Ltd. Chief Executive John Chen, who took the helm late last year.
“The Jakarta Edition was designed specifically with our Indonesian customers in mind,” Chen said in a statement. It has a 5-inch screen and includes Indonesian apps and content.
Although it is designed for Indonesia, Blackberry hopes to eventually sell the phone in six other Asia countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, India and the Philippines.
BlackBerry once dominated the smartphone market in Indonesia, but has struggled in recent years amid increased competition from rivals such as Apple and Samsung.
Indonesia, a nation of 240 million people with Southeast Asia’s largest economy, has experienced a tech boom in recent years.