BlackBerry CEO: We'll pass on super low-cost phones

Thorsten Heins
Not afraid to take a stand
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While some phone makers are chopping prices to make devices more affordable, BlackBerry has no desire to compete in the budget phone arena, CEO Thorsten Heins said this week.

At a conference in Waterloo, Ontario, Heins bluntly addressed the fact that BlackBerry has no current plans to release phones costing $50 to $60 (UK£33 to £40, AU$49 to $58) or lower.

"This is not BlackBerry," he declared, as reported by Bloomberg.

That said, the Canadian phone maker will launch cheaper devices for developing markets like India, where it sells the BlackBerry Z10 for $800 (UK£530, AU$780). The newly renamed fruity firm just won't dip quite as low as phones from Asian rivals like ZTE and Huawei.

To reiterate

Heins's pronouncement adds to a point made by BlackBerry European MD Stephen Bates to TechRadar in February.

"We've brought out these high-end devices as a statement of intent - to demonstrate vividly the new BlackBerry," Bates said. "But we don't see us getting to the entry level tier for some time; certainly not this year."

Indeed, BlackBerry's focus has been locked on high-end smartphones since the launch of BlackBerry 10.

Compare that to Nokia: The high-end market not being what it had hoped, Nokia recently announced several more affordable phones, including the Lumia 520.

Heins reported that the expensive Z10 sold out in India after just two days, so maybe BlackBerry won't have the same problem there.

The Z10 is still making its way out across the globe, with a U.S. release date rumored for March 22. We'll know soon enough whether BlackBerry's higher-price strategy pans out or not.

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.


Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for Playboy.com, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.