UPDATE 2-BlackBerry aims to reverse emerging market slump with budget handset

Tue May 13, 2014 4:50am EDT
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* Jakarta launch for Z3 touchscreen device for under $200

* Indonesia market share shrank to 4 pct from 40 pct -IDC

* Price-conscious buyers shunned last premium smartphone (Adds rollout in other nations, CEO's hopes for device)

By Randy Fabi and Euan Rocha

JAKARTA/TORONTO, May 13 (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd launched a low-cost touchscreen device in Jakarta, the Z3, as the embattled smartphone maker looks to revive sales in emerging markets like Indonesia where its once-fervent following has shrivelled.

The handset, unveiled at a glitzy launch event in the Indonesian capital on Tuesday, is the first in a line of devices being made with FIH Mobile Ltd, a unit of the giant Taiwanese Foxconn Technology Group best known for assembling gadgets like iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc.

The success of the handset retailing for less than $200 could well decide the outcome of both BlackBerry's tie-up with the contract manufacturing giant and its own future in smartphones. The Z3 Jakarta Edition will hit store shelves on May 15.

"If this device allows them to grow again, even if it's just small, steady growth, that's a success in itself. That says there is still room for BlackBerry in Indonesia," said Ryan Lai, market analyst at consultancy IDC.

The Z3 is the first phone to be launched by BlackBerry since new Chief Executive John Chen took the helm late last year. After Indonesia it will be gradually introduced in six other countries including the Philippines, India, Vietnam and Malaysia.   Continued...