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BlackBerry down on its luck, but new phones keep popping up

Meet the Americano and Kopi, code names for two potential new BlackBerrys that are expected to target an even lower end of the smartphone market.


Even as BlackBerry's fate remains up in the air, details of new, lower-end phones emerge.

The "Americano," an all touch-screen BlackBerry that looks like a Z30 with cheaper parts, popped up over the weekend, courtesy of BlackBerry news Web site BBIN. On Monday, BGR posted a picture of "Kopi," another low-end device that is supposedly more affordable than the budget Q5.

It's no surprise that both phones appear as if they are going after a more budget-conscious segment of consumers -- BlackBerry still has fans in emerging markets where high-end devices like the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4 are deemed too expensive.

BlackBerry's fate is up in the air after the company warned that it would post a loss of nearly $1 billion and cut roughly 40 percent of its workforce, part of a bigger move to retreat from the smartphone business it helped create.

The company said that as part of the change, it would slim down to four devices from six, but didn't specify which. It already has four devices in the market, the jumbo touch-screen Z30, the smaller Z10, the QWERTY keyboard-rocking Q10, and the cheaper alternative Q5.

The Americano would have been the third touch-screen product in BlackBerry's earlier six-product plan, so it's unclear if it will make its debut. Likewise, the Kopi is the third -- and cheapest -- of the keyboard phones.