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PHONES / SMARTPHONES & PDAS

"Biggest, Fastest" Blackberry Hits OZ...But Is It Too late?

By CDN & Oonagh Reidy | Tuesday | 22/10/2013

Phone maker may be in dire straits, but the fastest Blackberry ever is here.

Blackberry, the company, may be up for sale, but it is continuing to push new models into the Australian market, among many others.

Blackberry's latest mobile phone, the Z30 has just gone on sale in Optus stores, and should also be available through Telstra, Optus and Harvey Norman stores in coming weeks.

The Z30 has been billed as Blackberry's "biggest, fastest and most advanced smartphone yet". It has a 5-inch super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 by 720, is powered by a dual-core 1.7GHz processor, and has a 2880mAh battery, which Blackberry says is good for 25 hours on standby.

Blackberry is also claiming face-to-face video chats work better on its hero phone, with users able to share what's on their screen, while BlackBerry Natural Sound technology enables users to hear nuances and variations in tone, giving video calls a "clearer, more natural quality".

It is also good for rural areas, says Telstra's Andrew Volard in a blog plugging the Z30. 

Officially the Z30 will retail for $749 in Australia, though Harvey Norman is said to be taking pre-orders for $688, and Telstra plan to sell it for $672, or on a $80 plan for both consumer and business. 

The release certainly makes one wonder if folk are still buying BlackBerry's in any significant volume- especially considering the dominance of Androids and Apple, who between them account for more than 90% of all smartphones shipped in ANZ during Q2. 

Telstra were not available for comment at the time of writing. 

Recent stats from IDC show the onetime smartphone king has fallen back to fourth place in ANZ, with under 5% share , usurped to the No. 3 OS spot by rising star Microsoft Windows. 

Globally, the Canadian phone trails rivals on under 7% marketshare - its lowest ever in history of analysts IDC figures.

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