New BlackBerry Line Up To Include OS 7 Handset
August 13, 2013

New BlackBerry Line Up To Include OS 7 Handset

Enid Burns for – Your Universe Online

In an effort to revive sluggish uptake of handsets that run the BlackBerry 10 OS, BlackBerry is introducing new handsets, including the Z30 for its BB 10 OS, and the 9720, which will run on the older BlackBerry 7 operating system. The new handsets are one strategy deployed by the struggling handset manufacturer as it considers a possible sale.

This fall, the handset market can expect to see the Z30, a BlackBerry handset that has been described as a "cross between iPhone 5 and HTC One," Guardian Express reports.

The handset details, which were leaked in a video, are reported to include a 5-inch AMOLED display that runs at 720p resolution, and a dual-core processor. The handset will feature an 8-megapixel camera and 16 GB of storage, the Verge reports.

The Z30 may be replacing the previously named A10 on BlackBerry's release schedule.

Another strategy deployed by BlackBerry is to release the 9720 smartphone, which will run the BlackBerry 7 OS. The handset is targeted at developing markets where there is demand for inexpensive smartphones.

"The BlackBerry 9720 smartphone gives you all the essentials of the BlackBerry smartphone experience to support a communications centric lifestyle. It has the best keyboard and functionality for BBM, as well as an updated BlackBerry 7 OS that adds many enhancements. It's perfect for customers upgrading from a feature phone or entry-level Android or Windows Phone device, as well as existing BlackBerry smartphone customers, that want a richer experience and jump up in style and performance," said Carlo Chiarello, executive vice president for Products at BlackBerry, in a corporate statement.

The BlackBerry 9720 uses version 7.1 of the BlackBerry 7 OS. It features a built-in FM radio, as well as the ability to use apps such as BBM, Twitter and Facebook.

The step back to BB 7 demonstrates BlackBerry's pressure to offer a diverse line that will grow adoption.

"This device also shows the struggles BlackBerry has had in creating a common platform," said Wayne Lam, senior analyst at IHS iSuppli.

Now that the company has a few handsets coming to the market, it can focus on other recovery efforts. One action being considered by BlackBerry is a possible sale. The company's Board of Directors has formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives. In a corporate statement, the company released its plans to consider financial options, including a sale.

"During the past year, management and the Board have been focused on launching the BlackBerry 10 platform and BES 10, establishing a strong financial position, and evaluating the best approach to delivering long-term value for customers and shareholders," said Timothy Dattels, Chairman of BlackBerry's Special Committee of the Board. "Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives."

BlackBerry continues to push its offerings, while considering a sale.

"We continue to see compelling long-term opportunities for BlackBerry 10, we have exceptional technology that customers are embracing, we have a strong balance sheet and we are pleased with the progress that has been made in our transition. As a Special Committee focuses on exploring alternatives, we will be continuing with our strategy of reducing cost, driving efficiency and accelerating the deployment of BES 10, as well as driving adoption of BlackBerry 10 smartphones, launching the multi-platform BBM social messaging service, and pursuing mobile computing opportunities by leveraging the secure and reliable BlackBerry Global Data Network," said Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of BlackBerry, in a corporate statement.

JP Morgan Securities will serve as financial adviser to BlackBerry. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Torys LLP are serving as legal advisors.