A BlackBerry With Android – why BlackBerry KEYone was launched in the middle east

BlackBerry, without doubt, has been once the key part of our business once. An impeccable device that every corporate worker needs- secure, apt and updated.

Their official website says “ BlackBerry KEYone was built with over 20 years of experience supporting some of the most demanding enterprise users and companies across the globe”.

Having said the above, the company has seen a south-moving curve over the last man years, and most of its devices didn’t gain success at all. The parent company “Research In Motion”, as the name suggests, had been focusing on research after it signed a brand licensing agreement with the Hong Kong-based TCL communication in December 2016.

The masterpiece was introduced at the Mobile World Congress in February. The phone is available for sale in Dubai Mall from Sunday and will be available across the country from May 22 in Axiom retail stores, Etisalat owned stores and other retail outlets.

The phone is priced at Dhs 1999 in UAE.

image courtesy:https://www.blackberrymobile.com/en/

Running on Android 7.1 Nougat, the BlackBerry KEYone device boasts an aluminum frame and soft-grip textured back, along with its USP – the tiny and comfortable physical keyboard. The company claims that the KEYone to have “largest battery ever” in a BlackBerry smartphone, offering about 26 hours of normal use. With a wide angle lens, its 12 mp rear camera is unmatchable.

Now the big question is – why TCL communication has launched the most awaited phone of the year in GCC?

From a product launch point of view, the Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry had a good deal of history in the GCC region before it was hit by competition from players such as Apple, Samsung, and many others. The iconic “Blackberry Messenger” also lost its charm due to the availability of many such product substitutes with improved features, which were distributed for free then. The Gulf region has been the backbone of BlackBerry’s loyal customers and the phone maker enjoyed a very strong brand presence not only in the GCC region but also worldwide from 2004 to 2013.

A report says, that the share of BlackBerry’s global market stood at 0.0481 percent at the end of 2016, a report says. Worldwide, more than 432 million smartphones were sold in Q4 2016, with BlackBerry phones (using the BlackBerry OS) only accounting for 207,900 devices. Off late, the relaunched brand has failed many times to attract traction globally. Francois Mhieu, the global sales head of BlackBerry says that the UAE and Saudi Arabia together accounted for 4-5 percent of sales of the BlackBerry KeyOne, the first handset launched following the acquisition of the rights to the handset brand by TCL Communication in 2016.

With TCL, the brand also targets other GCC countries like Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, etc. The middle east being, one of the top 10 mobile phone markets globally, TCL targets to acquire 5-10 percent of the market in the next 12 months.

The detailed specification of the product is linked here.