BlackBerry unveils new phones, wins in-car coup

Don Sambandaraksa
26 Feb 2014

BlackBerry has turned to security to differentiate the two new phones it has launched, while reiterating the security of the new BBM for a business context.

CEO John Chen announced a new 5-inch device, the Z3, also called the Jakarta, will be made by Foxconn and launched in Indonesia in three months. An LTE version for other markets would be launched at a later date.

Blackberry also announced a return to the past with its classic keyboard and trackpad form-factor with the Q20 which will be released before the end of the year. While it resembles older models, the Q20 runs the latest BB10 software. It also sees the return of the menu, send and end buttons that were dropped in its recent keyboard phones.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen also unveiled the new BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) protected service in Barcelona. This is aimed at bankers and businesses who demand security.

The reference to enhanced encryption was no doubt to placate fears of spying that followed last year’s Der Spiegel report that revealed how British spy agency GCHQ had cracked BBM encryption and was able to read private messages.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported that Ford will be dumping Microsoft Windows in favour of BlackBerry’s QNX for the operating system of its next-generation Ford Sync in-car entertainment system.

BlackBerry shares jumped 7.6% on the news.

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