BlackBerry announces colorful new Q5 device for emerging markets

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins kicked off BlackBerry Live 2013 by announcing the new BlackBerry Q5 device, especially aimed at cost-conscious customers in emerging markets.

CEO Thorsten Heins announces the Q5 at BlackBerry Live 2013. | Image: Jason Hiner

BlackBerry didn't waste any time filling the biggest hole in the BlackBerry 10 ecosystem when CEO Thorsten Heins announced the new BlackBerry Q5 on Tuesday in his BlackBerry Live keynote address. 

This device was much-rumored leading up to BlackBerry Live, although some doubted that it would launch at the event, which is mostly focused on BlackBerry developers, enthusiasts and IT managers. However, the announcement was the highlight of Heins' address and drew by far the largest reaction from the crowd.


Here's what we know about the Q5:

  • Runs BlackBerry 10
  • Features 3.1-inch multi-touch display
  • Comes with 8GB of storage and 2GB of RAM
  • Runs on a dual-core processor (unspecified)
  • Non-removable battery
  • Has a hardware keyboard, but it's a chicklet keyboard similar to the classic BlackBerry Curve
  • Includes BBM Video with Screen Share
  • Includes BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry World app store
  • Comes in four colors: red, black, white, and pink

No pricing was announced but Heins indicated that the device will target "emerging markets," which is code for saying that it will be a low-cost device since buyers in most of those markets have to pay full price for the phone and don't get big discounts off the device by signing two-year contracts. Expect the Q5 to have mostly last-generation hardware inside and stripped of high-end features like NFC. 

Heins also correctly noted that for most users in emerging markets the mobile device is their primary computer, both for personal use and for work. 

"We're building for those mobile-first customers and businesses worldwide," Heins said. "We are the original mobile-first company."

After the keynote, BlackBerry officially indicated that the Q5 will be available "in selected markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia (including the Asia Pacific region), and Latin America, with availability beginning in July."

Image: BlackBerry