BlackBerry debuts the 9720, a Qwerty BlackBerry 7 OS device for emerging markets

BlackBerry debuts the 9720, a Qwerty BlackBerry 7 OS device for emerging markets

Summary: BlackBerry updates lineup for emerging markets with the BlackBerry 9720.


BlackBerry has officially announced its latest Qwerty smartphone, the BlackBerry 9720.

BlackBerry 9720. Image: BlackBerry
Image: BlackBerry

The new device, which runs BlackBerry 7.1 OS, will be available in the "coming weeks" from retailers and carriers in Asia, EMEA and Latin America.

BlackBerry has not released pricing yet, however, the device has drawn comparisons to its BlackBerry 10 OS Qwerty, the Q5, with suggestions it would be a low-cost number designed for emerging markets. The official specs appear to back that up.

"It's perfect for customers upgrading from a feature phone or entry-level Android or Windows Phone device, as well as existing BlackBerry smartphone customers, that want a richer experience and jump up in style and performance," Carlo Chiarello, executive vice president for products at BlackBerry, said in a statement.

The 9720 comes in five colours and sports a 2.8-inch touchscreen and trackpad as well as the Qwerty keyboard.

BlackBerry claims a battery life of seven hours talk time. The 512MB onboard storage can be boosted to 32GB via a microSD memory slot, while the device's single rear camera takes snaps at five megapixels.

The device also features a dedicated BBM key for BlackBerry Messenger, BBM Voice wi-fi-enabled chatting app, and a built-in FM radio.

Pricing and availability will be announced in due course, according to a BlackBerry spokeswoman.

Topics: BlackBerry, Hardware, Mobility

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Let Live and Let It Die

    Why another OS 7?! Jump the wagon to OS 10 already but lower the price to match the popular bought model of OS 7 devices. OS 7 is old, a Jurassic era of colorful UI. It's like watching movies of 90s era (OS 7 and below) compared to movies of 2010s era (iOS, Android, Window phone 8, BB OS 10, and whatever come next).
    • OS7 devices

      ... are ready to market and cater still to many. They also only need 1/4 the ram. Cheap all around and OS7.x is very stable. I think it's a good move fueled by actual needs and customer requests.
  • Processing power

    What is the processing power of this phone. Presumably, it will be much better than the existing OS7 phones and will fly.
    Susan Antony
  • Perfect for those upgrading ..?

    I'm confused.. Upgrade from a feature phone maybe.. (Isn't 7.1 basically a feature phone OS..?)

    But perfect for someone "upgrading..?" from a windows or android..? Wouldnt going to 7.1 be a downgrade..?