BlackBerry launches $200 Z3; Motorola launches $129 Moto E


The BlackBerry Z3 (BBRY +0.5%), first announced in February, goes for just $200 unsubsidized and is the first phone to be made via the company's Foxconn partnership.

As suggested by its codename (Jakarta), the Z3 is initially aimed at Indonesia, a market where BlackBerry still has a sizable base. It sports a 5" 960x540 display, a dual-core, 1.2GHz., CPU, a 3G modem (a 4G version will launch later), and a 5MP rear camera.

Competition will be provided by low-end Android phones from a slew of OEMs (Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, etc.) and white-box vendors.

The Z3 launch comes as Motorola Mobility, soon to be owned by Lenovo (LNVGY), launches the Moto E, a $129 Android phone featuring a 4.3" 960x540 display, 3G modem, and 5MP camera.

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Comments (38)
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (3107) | Send Message
     
    Go BB!
    13 May 2014, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (2699) | Send Message
     
    Nice, finally launched. The Z3 sounds nice.
    The Moto sounds like the same old yuck...
    13 May 2014, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Energysystems
    , contributor
    Comments (2038) | Send Message
     
    Ellas, the Moto E and Z3 are very similar as far as specs go. On the plus side, the Z3 has a flash on the camera(Moto E does not). But, Z3 has a non-removable battery. In my opinion, that's a downside.

     

    Saying one is yuck and one is nice, probably comes down to your anti-Android/pro-Black... belief(subjective observation); rather than objective observation.
    13 May 2014, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (2699) | Send Message
     
    Energysystems

     

    I am going by hardware quality and OS quality.
    It's a matter of opinion, and I felt and tried the Moto, and was not happy with its cheap like feel. As for OS, BB10 is in a higher class versus Android.

     

    But you are correct, regarding objective observation. ;)

     

    Android is just too bloated, not well designed. Kit Kat is a step in the right direction, but still requires mass refinement.

     

    To give you a simple perspective on where I stand with respect to Android. Had Bb10 not existed for example, the PlayBook OS2 would be the better choice over Android.
    13 May 2014, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • Energysystems
    , contributor
    Comments (2038) | Send Message
     
    I can't say anything about the OS's, I've never had an Andriod or BB10 device. But, I'm a buyer of el cheapo phones(Lumia 520 currently). I think the price point will be key, especially in a place like Indonesia.

     

    One of my bigger concerns for BBRY, is they're between a rock and a hard place. They're having trouble selling their high end phones, and are now attempting to compete in a cutthroat space(low end/low price smartphones).
    13 May 2014, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • seekingthetrooth
    , contributor
    Comments (854) | Send Message
     
    @Energysystems, ELLAS,

     

    In the end it all boils down to how you feel the devices in your hand. Notwithstanding the specs, if you feel grand and price makes sense you buy it.

     

    Judging by BB users' reviews, I wouldn't write off this launch in any way though I wouldn't conclude that it will juggernaut the smartphone space in a meaningful way.
    13 May 2014, 10:17 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (12927) | Send Message
     
    --- gadgets.ndtv.com ---

     

    BlackBerry Z3 Smartphone Receives a Lukewarm Reception in Indonesia

     

    Only a few dozen Indonesians queued up Friday to lay their hands on BlackBerry's new budget handset, in a lukewarm welcome that highlighted the smartphone maker's fading fortunes.

     

    The Z3 - launched in one of Blackberry's last bastions - is a key test of whether the ailing Canadian company can regain ground lost in emerging markets to Apple's iPhone and devices using the Google Android operating system.

     

    But only around 50 people queued up ahead of the phone going on sale in the main launch for customers at an upmarket shopping mall in west Jakarta.

     

    It was a stark contrast to the huge crowds that flocked to previous launch events for BlackBerrys in Indonesia, underlining how the smartphone maker's popularity has declined even in a country regarded as one of its last strongholds.

     

    Nevertheless there were still some die-hard fans at the event who were excited to get their hands on the new touchscreen phone, whose full name is "Z3, Jakarta Edition".

     

    "I have high hopes for the Z3 with all its new features - the big screen, camera and (latest operating system)," said Nisma Mediyanti, 32.

     

    "Hopefully it is as good, or even better than, the iPhone."

     

    BlackBerry hopes thousands of devices will be sold at the event over the next three days, where the phone is being offered with a 400,000 rupiah ($35) discount from its original price of 2,199,000 rupiah.

     

    For many in Indonesia though, BlackBerry is already a thing of the past.

     

    "I prefer a phone that functions like a mini computer, and I don't see that with BlackBerry," said 28-year-old Charlie Tanara, who was shopping at the mall but had no plans to check out the new BlackBerry.

     

    "I am using a Samsung and I like them because they have a large selection of applications, many of which are free."

     

    Chief executive John Chen unveiled the phone - BlackBerry's first since he took the helm of the company and the first from its partnership with tech giant Foxconn - with great fanfare at a press launch in Jakarta on Tuesday.

     

    Indonesia is the testbed for the new Z3, after which BlackBerry plans to roll it out in other Asian countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

     

    Ahead of the launch, retailers pointed to healthy online pre-orders, which began on April 28.

     

    http://bit.ly/RJ1Oxm
    17 May 2014, 12:23 AM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (4404) | Send Message
     
    At least there won't be another billion dollar write-off.
    17 May 2014, 01:57 AM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (4404) | Send Message
     
    Neuspufe, Indonesia - Whoterrs News Service May 17

     

    In this hardscrabble town of 24,000 some 180 miles South of the Capital (by ferry), there is an unbelievable image as the roads leading to the commercial district are littered with discarded cellphones from some of the most prestigious brands in the world. Young men who would normally be picking copra or working in the juniper mines scavenge the roadsides, looking for unintended treasure.

     

    The reason, you ask? BlackBerry, the vaunted phone maker of years past, has introduced the Z3 for sale ONLY in Indonesia, a country that has loved Blackberry since before the first device was ever released. As people flock to Photung's Electronics and Internet Cafe - the only licensed dealer on this island - they are simply discarding old iPhones, top-shelf Samsungs, Windows anything, waterproof Sonys... even tossing old laptops and a few IBM 360's out the window as they prepare for the unimaginable power and usefulness of this Next Gen device. Some believe it can cure many common health ailments, such as warts and incontinence.

     

    What is most astonishing, is that the roadside scavengers are not retrieving the thousands (by my count) of phones considered desirable in many parts of the world, but are hoping someone mistakenly threw out an older Blackberry phone. One young man yesterday found a BBRY Bold and it was only through his school training as a cross country runner that he was able to distance himself from a crowd of 200 in hot pursuit.

     

    Police say they are very nervous about the situation because hackers are likely to pinpoint where the new users live - although the contents of their e-mails will, of course, be totally safe forever. One local woman has already reported a call from someone pretending to be her grandson. If she would send her new Z3 to an address in Calgary, her son would be released unharmed. She was on the verge of doing exactly what they suggested when she realized, as an Indonesian, she didn't have a grandson named Dwayne.
    17 May 2014, 03:07 AM Reply Like
  • Seppo Sahrakorpi
    , contributor
    Comments (2146) | Send Message
     
    @RJ LOL, You are good :)
    17 May 2014, 08:11 AM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (12927) | Send Message
     
    Haha!
    17 May 2014, 03:39 PM Reply Like
  • seekingthetrooth
    , contributor
    Comments (854) | Send Message
     
    @Mr. Knowitall,

     

    NDTV is a third rate service. Concluding based on early morning mall traffic on a busy working Friday and that too reporting from one location on launch day. No effort to make any channel checks. I'm surprised that for shorts analytical reasoning is lacking when it comes to BBRY. Not using your head and pushing a one sided agenda will only leave scars.

     

    Here's an official blog post to consider after channel checks.

     

    http://bit.ly/1mG2nUf
    17 May 2014, 11:33 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (12927) | Send Message
     
    That's and impressive presentation seekingthetrooth.
    18 May 2014, 01:06 AM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (12927) | Send Message
     
    @seeking-the-truth

     

    "NDTV is a third rate service. Concluding based on early morning mall traffic on a busy working Friday and that too reporting from one location on launch day. No effort to make any channel checks. I'm surprised that for shorts analytical reasoning is lacking when it comes to BBRY. Not using your head and pushing a one sided agenda will only leave scars."

     

    Before you cast any more stones; Did you know Eric Lai is a blackberry employee? Director of Content Marketing at BlackBerry no less!! http://linkd.in/1qPQZtb

     

    You know all those lines you see? It may not be stores as you suspect.
    sfinvestor claims it's:

     

    "The Central park is an organized blackberry event after JC showed up and likely a lot of press, here is all that got, to see in your own eyes. (Youtube video of the BBRY launch event. http://bit.ly/1o5FMAk"

     

    So who's pushing the one-sided agenda?

     

    Please read sfinvestor's comments on the launch deception http://bit.ly/1qPQXBH
    19 May 2014, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • seekingthetrooth
    , contributor
    Comments (854) | Send Message
     
    @Mr. Knowitall,

     

    I agree both NDTV and Eric Lai may be pushing a one-sided agenda. Its but natural that management is structurally long stock. Rest of us have option to either be short or long.

     

    My reference to NDTV and now the NYT piece is reminiscent of how media is used to give a negative spin to cause a sell-off and shake weak hands.

     

    That's why I take media in general with a grain of salt. I take management's word with a grain of salt. Heck, on occasion I take my own views with a grain of salt.

     

    Having said this, my view is that taking off the manufacturing & inventory risks by effectively paying Foxconn a premium over their manufacturing & related overheads + margin, BB has become a reseller that is procuring based on consignment i.e. returning unsold inventory. Who knows, maybe BB has asked their authorized resellers to take some risk as well.

     

    I believe BB can compete based on its phone features & android compatibility. There's another advantage to the Foxconn model. That most Android phone makers are losing money. How long can they sustain losses before shuttering? The profit pool is really Apple & Samsung.

     

    These quotes from a Forbes article:

     

    "The profit data illustrates how Apple’s primary rival is really Samsung—not Android. Samsung made 53 percent of the profit for the quarter. Apple and Samsung combined actually add up to more than 100 percent of all profit for the mobile industry, because all of the other players, like HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, and BlackBerry lost money."

     

    "It turns out that two thirds of the devices that make up Android’s 81 percent market share are cheap “junk phones”. The remainder is primarily Samsung, which makes up 39.9 percent of the total Android devices shipped."

     

    http://onforb.es/1kz3O5P

     

    Even though its touted BlackBerry is up against fierce competition from Android, is that really so considering the BB phone vs. the cheap 'junk' phones is a one-way unanimous decision over and above the financial losses these device makers incur.
    23 May 2014, 05:12 AM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (4404) | Send Message
     
    stt

     

    BBRY competition, money losing or not, is whoever has comparable specs and has secured a space on the vendors (ATT, VZ, etc.) shelves. It doesn't matter if they are losing money (BBRY is immune to that?) - what is significant is that abstract called mind share and whether they will sell enough to gain enough market penetration or, in the case of MSFT, clobber enough little folk to become successful.

     

    HTC has garnered awards left and right for being one of the best phones but sells too little to be a threat. Sony was possibly the winner of the BES '14 demos but phones have not been their strong suit.

     

    EVERYONE is out to carve a slice of Apple. That doesn't make BBRY unique or even the best positioned to do so. Many others have billions to invest in marketing while BBRY needs to take baby steps and go one step at a time in places such as Indonesia. India? You think the other companies haven't already been there, done that? Some seem to believe that Indians will pass by a window and be amazed that you can buy a phone that fits in a pocket.

     

    We forget that there is a difference between reputation and history. AAPL has a great reputation. Kodak has a great history. BBRY leans more to the latter.
    23 May 2014, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • seekingthetrooth
    , contributor
    Comments (854) | Send Message
     
    @Randal James,

     

    Funny you assume that loss making device makers will continue to lose money hoping to keep penetrating the market. Comparable specs aside, cumulative losses would only lead to industry exits for some players especially the ones marketing around the low to mid range. The void that may be created along with replacement cycles and new adopters to smartphones would determine who would be best positioned to secure additional share profitably.

     

    I'm not stating BBRY will be the one. All I'm saying is that they have a window to grasp this potential opportunity given their focus is not aggressive market penetration at all cost but penetration whilst remaining profitable. Going one region at a time. They've learned their lessons from the flawed business model of dumping high-end phones on the market and they sure don't want to do things loss makers do.
    23 May 2014, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (4404) | Send Message
     
    stt

     

    "...cumulative losses would only lead to industry exits for some players especially the ones marketing around the low to mid range."

     

    No one has BBRY's vast experience in losing money in this space, so you may be right.

     

    The key in all of these is both share and $ volume. EVERYONE in the field appreciates the struggle it took for Samsung to find profitability and wouldn't be participants if they didn't believe a profit was on the horizon. Many will never get there.

     

    Here's an interesting question for you. If we all agree that Foxconn has significantly reduced the risk of failure by controlling inventory and production costs, are we naive enough to assume they also will absorb losses until the very instant of profitability or are those all on their shoulders as well? If yes, that defies the description of 'crafty Asians' that are so stereotyped in literature.
    23 May 2014, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • KIA Investment Research
    , contributor
    Comments (12927) | Send Message
     
    STT,

     

    You seem to suggest that the Z3's superior specs will make it preferable over the "cheap android" phones.

     

    I would suggest that specs matter a lot less than you may think.
    Beyond a few key elements (cameras front and back) and screen, not many care what processor is in there and memory may only be important to maybe 50% of purchasers.

     

    So Z3s specs, may not be the big hook. Add to that an unusual operating system, few apps, and a chattering on message boards of access to all android apps if you drink bat wing extract and cluck like a chicken.
    23 May 2014, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • seekingthetrooth
    , contributor
    Comments (854) | Send Message
     
    @Mr. Knowitall,
    "So Z3s specs, may not be the big hook. Add to that an unusual operating system, few apps, and a chattering on message boards of access to all android apps if you drink bat wing extract and cluck like a chicken."

     

    How is that a negative? People in general like to dabble with their toys. So side loading is not a huge pain in the a$$ as you suggest. Why should sideloading be painful in BlackBerry and fun in other devices?
    23 May 2014, 10:51 PM Reply Like
  • seekingthetrooth
    , contributor
    Comments (854) | Send Message
     
    @Randal James,
    "Here's an interesting question for you. If we all agree that Foxconn has significantly reduced the risk of failure by controlling inventory and production costs, are we naive enough to assume they also will absorb losses until the very instant of profitability or are those all on their shoulders as well? If yes, that defies the description of 'crafty Asians' that are so stereotyped in literature."

     

    I'm sure BlackBerry & Foxconn have mutually agreed on exit points. Of course I wouldn't know the details but they do agree that it's worth a shot. In my opinion if this sub-$200 gets a negative rap from consumers and sales fall below expectation, which I think is 5-10 million sell throughs, then this partnership is better off terminated. So far chatter is that people are happy with the phones, indonesia reviews are nice and people have already started to dabble with the device. Next earnings call would be telling. Blackberry may be hoping to reach at least 700-800k sell-through.
    23 May 2014, 11:00 PM Reply Like
  • shubarua1
    , contributor
    Comments (1551) | Send Message
     
    @Energysystem
    Re: ....the Moto E and Z3 are very similar...

     

    You are right. But there are other "things" which can not be measured by specs. Firstly, Z3- an entry level phone- looks more like a high-end. Secondly, Acc to NIELSON, 48% Indonesian smartphone users chose BB as their top brand while 34% of them choose as their favorite brand. Thirdly, on top of that, BBM, a brand of its own, is very popular in Indonesia (79% Indonesians use it 22.3 min @ day compared to 6.2 minutes in WhatApp and 5.1 min LINE). The loyality and usage are helpful to Z3 release.
    http://bit.ly/1np5qgG
    20 Jun 2014, 04:10 PM Reply Like
  • shubarua1
    , contributor
    Comments (1551) | Send Message
     
    @MKIA

     

    I know pictures say "thousand words". But those pictures from Indonesia that we have seen so far don't say "a word". Please provide us with number.
    According to NIELSON, 48% Indonesians chose BB as their top brand, while 34% of them chose Blackberry as their favorite brand. 79% Indonesians use BBM more than WhatApp and LINE combined in total minutes a day. Other than that, you're correct in your assesment of how Z3 is doing among Indonesians. http://bit.ly/1np5qgG
    http://bit.ly/1nNB0KW
    20 Jun 2014, 04:43 PM Reply Like
  • rsbduff@gmail.com
    , contributor
    Comments (438) | Send Message
     
    Commoditization has begun:

     

    Remember when those little calculators were $200?(now $2) We sold 640K memory boards for $640. (honest..that was the lowest price on the market). Apple's 10MB external hard drives were $8000.....I know young people can't believe that.

     

    Smart phones will be selling for $39 or $49.... in a few years. The bigger question.....what handset manufacturers will survive that?

     

    Printers are now sold at cost.....so that they can sell the ink cartridges. Soon...cell phones will be sold....at cost....so they can make a few dollars in ways...we haven't seen yet.

     

    Don't bet the farm on high priced....name brand....phones.

     

    My insight is worth what I charge for it (some say less)

     

    (Now followed by hedge funds on twitter.....I'm worried about that)
    RSBDuff
    13 May 2014, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • bd4uandu
    , contributor
    Comments (2074) | Send Message
     
    My money is on Lenovo. Sitting right in the middle of a couple billion customers.
    13 May 2014, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • Seppo Sahrakorpi
    , contributor
    Comments (2146) | Send Message
     
    Nokia got out just in time, dodging the bullet. I have some LNVGY too, they are well positioned and growing nicely...
    13 May 2014, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • mallarde
    , contributor
    Comments (665) | Send Message
     
    Good points but maybe the value will be in the software like with PCs. BB is moving away its focus away from handsets.
    13 May 2014, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (4404) | Send Message
     
    Good point, Seppo.

     

    Much blood in the next few years and too much of it might have been Nokia's.
    13 May 2014, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • Food for Thought
    , contributor
    Comments (1500) | Send Message
     
    re: My money is on Lenovo.

     

    Dont forget you're also betting against Foxconn, not just Blackberry. There is room for both anyways, Blackberry only needs to sell 10million phones a year to be a smash hit, software and services is where they make money, the printer anology above is appropriate.
    13 May 2014, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (2699) | Send Message
     
    bd4uandu
    """My money is on Lenovo. Sitting right in the middle of a couple billion customers."""

     

    That's what they said about Google. And Google is Huge. What ended up happening?
    13 May 2014, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Crispin_in_Waterloo
    , contributor
    Comments (1636) | Send Message
     
    The BlackBerry browser is the fastest (by far) with features like Flash and multitasking. The Moto is not in the same league.

     

    BTW the highest price I have seen is $182 and there are all sorts of deals for less than that. Cheapest early bird special I saw on line was $125 with 96 gig of data.
    13 May 2014, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • Zack 800
    , contributor
    Comments (2010) | Send Message
     
    And it has a bigger screen size...might make it more compelling...maybe...
    13 May 2014, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • cereal
    , contributor
    Comments (1684) | Send Message
     
    Faster? However it renders less websites correctly because it's a non standard browser, so being faster by a few milliseconds means jack all.

     

    Flash? It's a huge battery drain.

     

    Multiprocessing? This is a traditional PC functionality not meant for mobile devices. BlackBerry doesn't know how to handle asynchronous programming optimally, again, it's a huge battery drain.
    13 May 2014, 07:12 PM Reply Like
  • ELLAS
    , contributor
    Comments (2699) | Send Message
     
    I am glad the Z3 has finally been released. Though I would have preferred a price tag under $200. Perhaps $198 and/or $189, because it looks a lot cheaper eyeing such a price.
    13 May 2014, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (4404) | Send Message
     
    Hmm... reason for no buzz?

     

    The BlackBerry Z3, Jakarta Edition, was launched at a glitzy hotel in the capital, Jakarta.

     

    *The company said it will go on sale Thursday for $191*,

     

    considerably less than its higher-priced Z10 and Q10 devices. Analysts say the lack of a lower-priced phone has hurt Blackberry in Indonesia.

     

    That's like having Ronald come to your town to hop up the sales of the new XXXX burger which will be available the day after tomorrow.
    13 May 2014, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • Crispin_in_Waterloo
    , contributor
    Comments (1636) | Send Message
     
    @Randall

     

    There were three ways to get the Z3, mostly on line of course, in advance of the launch. The price listed on line was Rs (Rupiah) 2.1 million which is $185. In every case, when a carrier was offering the Z3 with a package, the price was less but the device is network locked. They are not big on contract phones, people pre-pay mostly, so the deals are not directly comparable to, for example, USA ones. The prices, limited numbers of each 'deal', ranges from $175 down to $125 and always included a memory card, a data pack, and the device.
    23 May 2014, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (3107) | Send Message
     
    so far so good:

     

    http://bit.ly/1mG2nUf
    17 May 2014, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (4404) | Send Message
     
    Nice find, LevYogi! Hope it was as robust as the story indicates. BBRY could use some positive PR on the main initiatives.
    17 May 2014, 09:54 PM Reply Like
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