CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry pretended it was business as usual today and announced the Blackberry 9720 smartphone.
It might be a new phone, but the Blackberry 9720 runs the firm's obsolescent Blackberry 7.1 mobile operating system (OS). We don't know why, and Blackberry hasn't said why it chose not to use Blackberry 10. However, it's likely due to the older mobile operating system's popularity in emerging markets, and possibly the fact that the Blackberry 10 OS hasn't been doing well so far.
The 9720 features Blackberry's traditional physical QWERTY keypad complete with a dedicated BBM key, paired with a 2.7in 480x360 touchscreen, suggesting that this phone is likely to be cheap.
The handset is powered by a single-core 806MHz processor and has 512MB of RAM, so it's unlikely to be as nippy as the top-end Blackberry Q10.
There's also 512MB of internal storage expandable via microSD card, a 1,450mAh battery and a 5MP rear-facing camera. The Blackberry 9720 will be available in a number of colours, including black, white, blue, purple and pink.
Blackberry has said that the handset will launch in "the coming weeks" across Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. There's nothing more specific than that and no word on the handset's pricing, although we're guessing that the 9720 will be priced at around £200.
This announcement comes just a day after Blackberry put itself up for sale. The firm announced that its Board of Directors had formed a Special Committee that will mull ways to ensure the firm's survival, which could involve Blackberry going private or merging with another company. µ