BlackBerry has unveiled a lower-cost handset that is designed to entice consumers in emerging markets, as the company stepped up efforts to regain market share lost to the iPhone and Android devices.

CEO Thorsten Heins said that the Q5 device will be available worldwide this summer.

The phone is the Canadian company’s third device to use its new Blackberry 10 operating system.

Mr Heins said the "slim, sleek" device will be available in red, black, white and pink.

"I know it's going to be a big hit," he said. ""I think you're really going to like it."

Mr Heins announced the phone to a packed ballroom to open Blackberry’s annual three-day conference in Orlando, Florida.

The company – which was formerly known as Research In Motion - unveiled new devices this year after delays allowed Apple and others to dominate.

Mr Heins, who became CEO in January 2012, said the company has made a lot of progress in a short period of time, by moving in a diverse collection of people into leadership positions.

He restated BlackBerry's committed to "mobile first" and took a subtle jab at industry predictions that he might not make it to this year's conference as CEO in such a tough landscape.

"I'm happy to say they were wrong," Mr Heins said. "We are not only still here. We are firing on all cylinders as a company."

The BlackBerry, pioneered in 1999, had been the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and consumers before the iPhone debuted in 2007 and showed that phones can handle much more than email and calls. Blackberry faced numerous delays modernising its operating system.

However it continues to do well in many places overseas.

Blackberry's stock fell 30 cents, or 1.9%, to $15.58 in morning trading.

Mr Heins said that Blackberry is "definitely in the race" and that he is excited about its outlook, with mobile being the key cog in their resurgence he said has brought it to a profitable quarter.

"The most successful year for BlackBerry is well under way," he said.