You can be forgiven if you forgot that BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) announced a new mobile phone dubbed the Q10 in its late January announcement that included the announcement of its first touch-screen model, the Z10. The Q10 includes BlackBerry’s familiar keyboard. BlackBerry also announced today a revision to its BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system for enterprise users.
While BlackBerry launched the Q10 globally today, actual availability will vary. In the United States, T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) will offer the Q10, but no ship date has been set.
Providing even more hype with an equivalent lack of hardware, BlackBerry also announced its Q5 mobile device today, another BB10 phone with a keyboard. This is the budget version of the Q10 designed specifically for emerging markets.
But wait, there’s more. Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) launched a new member of its Lumia 920 family, the Lumia 925. Like the BlackBerry phones, availability in the United States will follow availability in other countries by about a month. The Lumia 925 will be available through T-Mobile exclusively and on a no-contract basis. The estimated price for the phone is about $600, but that will vary widely, depending on local taxes and so on. Nokia launched a Lumia 928 phone earlier this month exclusively for Verizon Wireless. The Lumia phones all use the Windows Phone operating system from Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT).
BlackBerry’s Q5 targets a low-cost-of-entry market while Nokia’s Lumia 925 is a pricier entry that will target the market now dominated by Samsung and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Given that T-Mobile currently sells the iPhone, Nokia is going to have to price the phone aggressively to poach customers away from the two market leaders. The Q5 avoids a lot of this problem by fighting it out for share in emerging markets where the Nokia brand is well known and popular.