Blackberry will launch its new Z10 smartphone in Australia next week, with the aim of being the “strong third player” in the market, insisting it is “not a me too product” and it will “aggressively” target former users.
Yesterday global CEO Thorsten Heins (pictured) visited Sydney to launch the device, which runs on the Blackberry 10 operating system and is set to launch in the US later this week.
At the weekend the company started its local push, leveraging the Australian Grand Prix sponsorship of the Mercedes team and running 30-second TVCs, based on international work.
Enterprise is clearly the key target for the company, with a strong emphasis on features allowing people to restore a work-life balance, and the gesture operated interface was also a key selling point they were keen to push.
Heins said the marketing plan for the device had been successful so far, gaining “huge attention” in the market through a series of reveals using prominent bloggers, before unveiling the Superbowl campaign spot, and then the longer commercials.
But, while corporate are a large priority Heins said the new phones have a strong offering for regular consumers, pointing to the “hyper connected Blackberry Messenger” system, which currently has 79m users globally, as a sign of that.
“I think what’s important here is that we crisply bring our message out to the market,” he said. “It’s not about spending millions of dollars above the line.”
It is understood there will be a significant spend in the local market with TV, digital and out of home all in the mix, with an ad campaign backed by network partners Telstra and Optus.
Heins insisted the network partnerships were important, saying carriers “don’t want a duopoly” of Android and Apple, but said the long-tail of the company, which makes money from its software, which includes security, on the phone help it remain profitable.
He also insisted the company would only go to the tablet business if it could find a way to take them to a “better service proposition”, and brushed off questions about wearable devices like Google Glass being created by competitors, insisting: “My view of the future of mobile computing is it’s much more about the services you provide and the way you bring these to the end users.”
But, he did concede: “If I need to build a watch, maybe I will do it.”
Heins pointed to the existing partnerships with car industry players like Mercedes and BMW, and signaled the company would be looking at healthcare as a new market for its products, signaling they were looking for to “work out what are the common denominators for healthcare globally”.