BlackBerry launches Motion in SA to entice you away from rivals

TCL has launched the BlackBerry Motion in SA. (TCL Communication)
TCL has launched the BlackBerry Motion in SA. (TCL Communication)

BlackBerry refuses to go quietly into the night.

The brand continues to produce new devices despite low market share, compared to its dominance in the 1990s and early 2000s.

TCL Communication, which now owns the brand, announced on Friday that the BlackBerry Motion is available in SA through Cellucity.

The new device boasts an IP67 water and dust resistance and 5.5 inch (13.9cm) display with anti-scratch coating.

At 167g, the Motion is lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (189g) as well as the Huawei P20 Pro (180g).

However, while the premium Samsung and Huawei devices are all aluminium and glass, the BlackBerry Motion has an aluminium frame and plastic on the back.

The Motion, though, is aimed at power users with a Qualcomm octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of memory on board. There is also a microSD slot to expand the memory to 256GB.

Determined effort

The camera is also comparable to competitors at a main shooter rated at 12 megapixels (MP) with a low f/2.0 and dual flash. The selfie camera is rated at 8MP, sporting an 84° wide angle lens.

In keeping with the brand's resurgence attempt, the BlackBerry Motion is powered by Google's Android operating system (Nougat - version 7.1).

BlackBerry hit peak sales in 2011, selling about 50 million devices, but declined rapidly with the rise of Android devices in general, and Samsung in particular.

Despite a determined effort to launch multiple BlackBerry devices including the Z30, Passport and Priv among others, the brand has failed to recapture its former glory.

Data from industry tracker Gartner shows that Samsung was the smartphone market leader at 18.2% market share at the end of 2017, followed by Apple at 17.9% and Huawei (10.8%).

Gartner highlighted the growth prospects for Xiaomi and Huawei.

"Future growth opportunities for Huawei will reside in winning market share in emerging APAC and the US," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner.

"Xiaomi's biggest market outside China is India, where it will continue to see high growth. Increasing sales in Indonesia and other markets in emerging APAC will position Xiaomi as a strong global brand."

The BlackBerry Motion comes with its own DTEK security software and high capacity 4 000mAh battery as well as a fingerprint reader on the front.

The Motion will retail at Cellucity for of R7 399 or for R399 on a 24-month contract.

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