Canadian company BlackBerry isn‘t the smartphone juggernaut it used to be. Since the peak of its powers in 2007, iOS and Android have chipped away at its market share and the little that is left is dwindling as well.
In an attempt to attract the “œyoung professional“ they have released the BlackBerry Leap in South Africa and abroad, an all-touch smartphone (so no brilliant BB keyboard that made the phones a must have more than half a decade ago).
The BlackBerry Leap is a mid-range device, priced at R3,999 and with moderate specs. It boasts a 5-inch 720p display, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor and 2GB of RAM, as well as an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2,800mAh battery. The design does try to make it seem more premium than it is, which is always nice to see.
Martin Fick, senior product manager at BlackBerry South Africa, said the device is available through Vodacom, and that other mobile operators will start selling the device soon.
Do you think BlackBerry can make a return to the mainstream? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the full press release: BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced the availability of BlackBerry® Leap in South Africa. Beginning today, consumers who want to get things done and companies looking for enterprise fleet renewals can now purchase the modern and powerful BlackBerry Leap. BlackBerry Leap features the latest BlackBerry® 10.3.1 operating system, a brilliant edge-to-edge five-inch HD display and more than a full day‘s battery power. Top features of the BlackBerry Leap include:
Security to Maintain Privacy ““ You can feel safe in the knowledge that BlackBerry Leap was designed with the highest standards of security in mind to protect your privacy. It is equipped with support for encryption, plus built-in malware protection and back-up, wipe and restore. All to give you control and help secure your data against the next embarrassing and potentially costly cyberattack.
Battery That Powers Through a Full Day ““ With up to 25 hours of heavy use,* the BlackBerry Leap will power through even your most demanding day. The impressive 2800 mAh battery and optimization of power consumption in BlackBerry 10 gives users more than a full day of productive usage.
Best-in-Class BlackBerry Keyboard ““ Type faster and more accurately on a touchscreen keyboard that learns how you write. With superior error correction, multi-language support, customized adaption and flow, BlackBerry‘s touchscreen keyboard helps to reduce the mistakes and missteps that can hold you back.
BlackBerry® 10 OS 10.3.1 ““BlackBerry Leap comes preloaded with the new BlackBerry 10.3.1 operating system, offering a fresh look that incorporates updated icons and an instant action bar so that users‘ most commonly accessed functions are in the center of their screen. Additional features include:
o BlackBerry® Blend ““ BlackBerry Blend brings messaging and content that is on your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and tablet. Get instant message notifications, read and respond to your work and personal email, BBMâ„¢ or text messages, and access your documents, calendar, contacts and media in real time on whatever device you are on, powered by your BlackBerry. BlackBerry Blend works across desktop operating systems, including Mac OS X 10.7 +, Windows® 7+ and Androidâ„¢ tablets running Android 4.4+ via cellular, USB or Wi-Fi connections. o BlackBerry® Assistant ““ The BlackBerry Assistant is BlackBerry‘s first digital assistant and can be used with voice and text commands to help users manage work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other native BlackBerry 10 applications. It‘s the only smartphone assistant on the market today that can access both personal and work content in your work perimeter. BlackBerry Assistant intelligently determines how to respond to you based on how you interact with it ““ if you type, it responds silently, if you speak, it speaks back and if you activate over Bluetooth, it speaks back with additional context because it assumes you might not have access to the screen. o Dual app storefronts preloaded for access to a huge selection of apps for work and play:
BlackBerry World ““ BlackBerry World offers essential business and productivity apps for professionals looking to drive efficient communications and collaboration including Box, Evernote, Cisco WebEx Meetings and Documents to Go.
Amazon Appstore ““ Discover and download popular Android apps and games through the Amazon Appstore including Candy Crush Saga, Pinterest, SoundCloud, Kindle and Amazon Shopping.