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BlackBerry CEO unveils ‘slim, sleek’ new version

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ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd unveiled a lower-cost BlackBerry aimed at consumers in emerging markets, stepping up its efforts to regain market share lost to Apple's iPhone and Android devices powered by Google's software.

CEO Thorsten Heins said yesterday that the Q5 device will be available worldwide this summer. It is RIM's third smartphone to run the new BlackBerry 10 system. The Q5 will have a physical keyboard, something that sets RIM's devices apart from Apple's iPhone and most Android phones.

Mr Heins said the "slim, sleek" device will be available in red, black, white and pink. He announced the phone to a packed ballroom to open RIM's annual three-day conference in Orlando, Florida.

RIM unveiled new BlackBerrys this year after delays allowed Apple and others to dominate.

Mr Heins, who became RIM's CEO in January 2012, said the company has made a lot of progress in a short period of time, by moving a diverse collection of people into leadership positions.

He restated BlackBerry's committed to "mobile first" and took a subtle jab at industry predictions that he might not make it to this year's conference as CEO because of the competitive mobile landscape.

"I'm happy to say they were wrong," Mr Heins said. "We are not only still here. We are firing on all cylinders as a company."

Budget BlackBerry: BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins unveiled the BlackBerry Q5, a budget phone designed for emerging markets.
The lower-cost BlackBerry Q5 is aimed at consumers in emerging markets.

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Published May 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm)

BlackBerry CEO unveils ‘slim, sleek’ new version

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