UPDATE 1-BlackBerry unveils the Z30 as its new flagship smartphone

Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:18am EDT
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* New Z30 to boast five-inch touchscreen display

* Z30 to hit store shelves as early as next week

* Device to initially launch in UK and the Middle East

* BlackBerry shares up 1 percent in trading on Nasdaq

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 amid uncertainty over 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 lackluster sales of its new devices that run on the BlackBerry 10 operating system.

The long-rumored Z30 device, 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 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.   Continued...