BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has four new smartphones in development, each of them aimed at a specific market segment of customers, and at least two of them will be released in the very near future according to a leaked internal document which was unveiled yesterday by the BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) news site N4BB.
The document reveals four new phones, codenamed “Affordable” (the Manitoba), “Classic” (the Q20), “Innovative” (the Windermere), and “Prestige” (the Khan). The document further breaks down the target market of each of the phones, and how they think of the phones and themselves.
“Contemporary, yet Affordable…an expression that I am to be taken seriously. I’m just getting started but I am ambitious and out to win,” says the writeup for the Manitoba.
The roadmap document further reveals the timeline of coming updates to the BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) OS, to 10.3 in the third quarter, and then 10.3.1 in the fourth quarter, as well as the expected release of the new phones. The Khan and Windermere are both listed as dropping in the third quarter of this year (which would mean within the next month), while the Manitoba and Q20 aren’t listed, and may not see release until early 2015 as a result.
The new document also seems to confirm that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) will not be releasing an all-touch, high-end smartphone this year, focusing instead on returning to profitability. The Z10 suffered disappointing sales in the U.S (though it performed better in its home country of Canada) which eventually led to the firing of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s head of U.S sales. Blackberry 10 devices sold just 2.7 million units in their first full quarter of availability, and prices were quickly slashed on the Z10 in the U.S.
Blackberry was recently listed as a brand most likely to disappear in 2015 by 24/7 Wall Street, which it appears they have no intention of fulfilling. They were also listed (as Research in Motion at the time) in 2012 on the same list.
Prem Watsa, described as the Warren Buffett of Canada, is far and away the largest shareholder in Blackberry through his Fairfax Financial Holdings. The hedge fund has 46.6 million shares of the Canadian smartphone manufacturer, more than ten times greater than D E Shaw in second.