BlackBerry's last rites and release: Z30 arrives on Optus and Telstra

Before the end of this month, Australian customers on Optus and Telstra's networks will be able to purchase the BlackBerry Z30.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

As another potential suitor for the beleaguered company known as BlackBerry appears in the form of Lenovo, the company has announced that its new flagship Z30 device will be available in Australia across the two major telco networks before the end of October.

Optus Business customers will have the first opportunity to purchase the device from today, with Optus retail and Telstra customers having the opportunity to take on a Z30 from October 29th. From November 1st, customers will be able to purchase the device from Harvey Norman, with the retailer currently taking pre-orders.

The phone carries a manufacturers' suggested retail price of AU$749.00 to purchase the phone outright, but Telstra announced that will be available for outright for AU$672, or free on a 24-month AU$80 Business Performance Plan that offers AU$800 worth of included calls and MMS, unlimited SMS and 1.5GB of data. Optus pricing is currently unannounced.

The device's hardware consists of a 1280x720 pixel, 5-inch Super AMOLED display, a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage that is expandable with a MicroSD card, an 8-megapixel camera, and support for LTE.

The lack of the Z30 on Vodafone continues a pattern established at the start of this year when Australia's third telco lagged behind Optus and Telstra in selling BlackBerry handsets.

As an entity, BlackBerry is currently surrounded by a maelstrom of rumour, speculation, and bad omens, as the company looks to sell itself off.

Last month, BlackBerry announced that it was culling 4,500 jobs from its workforce, and recorded a loss of US$965 million for its second quarter. At the end of its latest quarter, the company held a total of US$2.6 billion in cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments, down from US$3.1 billion at the end of the previous quarter.

With reports today suggesting that Lenovo may look to purchase the company, it is speculated that the company has a trio of suitors to choose from following interest from co-founder and former chief executive Mike Lazaridis after the company signed a letter of intent in September with Fairfax Financial to sell itself for US$4.7 billion.

Under the terms of the letter, Fairfax and its consortium would acquire the 90 percent of shares that Fairfax does not own with cash.

BlackBerry is in the middle of a six week window where the consortium conducts due diligence and the company can find a better offer.

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