BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has launched a gold version of the BlackBerry Q10 handset in the United Arab Emirates. So it would appear that the struggling Canadian company has beaten Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to the punch in releasing a gold-colored handset.
A report on Monday indicated that the UAE is one of BlackBerry’s most important markets as the BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) operating system holds a 23 percent share of the market there.
Gold BlackBerry is a special edition model
Gulf Business reports that the gold BlackBerry has a gold-colored stainless steel case and a white face. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s rumored gold iPhone is also expected to feature a white face, although it won’t be out until the launch of the iPhone 5S.
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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has priced the new gold handset at Dhs 3,799. It comes with a leather sleeve and a gold-accented handset. The gold series will have a range of unique PIN numbers as well. The handset went on sale Monday at the Dubai Mall.
Slumping BlackBerry Q10 sales
The struggling handset maker has been pulling out all the stops in an attempt to turn its slumping sales around. Management was hoping the BlackBerry Q10, which was the company’s first handset to launch already running BlackBerry 10, would do better than the touch screen Z10, which launched earlier. However, so far sales have not been going well.
Analysts at Jefferies reported that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) may have cut handset production again. They also said checks of BlackBerry Q5 sales indicate that they might not be going so well either.
Today the company also announced that it was cutting 100 more jobs as management looks for strategic alternatives that might preserve at least some of the company’s value. Shares have been riding high on speculation about what those alternatives might entail, but the company’s board said no other news would be forthcoming until a deal had been reached. At this point it isn’t known whether the company will have to sell itself off in parts or if someone might be interested in it as a whole.