BlackBerry unveils the Z30 as its new flagship smartphone

Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:00am EDT
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* The new Z30 to boast a five-inch touchscreen display

* Z30 to begin to hit store shelves as early as next week

* Device to initially launch in the UK and the Middle East

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd launched its new Z30 flagship smartphone on Wednesday, as it battles to win back market share despite uncertainty around its future.

Once a pioneer in the smartphone arena, BlackBerry said last month it was weighing options that could include an outright sale, in the face of lacklustre sales for its new devices that run on the BlackBerry 10 operating system.

The long-rumored Z30 device, which is first being unveiled at an event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will be BlackBerry's new top-of-the-line device, taking the crown from the smaller Z10 that was launched early this year.

The new touchscreen device, which boasts a five-inch display and a 1.7 gigahertz processor, will compete against the likes of Apple Inc's new iPhone 5S and Samsung Electronics Co's Galaxy S4, along with a slew of other devices that are powered by Google Inc's Android platform.

The company faces an uphill battle in generating interest in the new phone, however, given the lack of clarity around its future.   Continued...