BlackBerry is currently working on a lineup of smartphones based on its latest BlackBerry 10 operating systems. The company naturally keeps its plans under wraps, so nothing particular is known about its roadmap. Nonetheless, the unofficial leaks reveal quite some things, such as design, materials and market positioning.
A member of the BlackBerryOS forum, which specializes on BlackBerry-branded devices and software, has published a photo of what he claims to be a BlackBerry R-series smartphone. The device carries BlackBerry logotype, has hardware QWERTY keyboard, front-side a rather large display and seems to be made of matte plastic. It is believed that the R-series will substitute Curve-series inexpensive smartphones on the market. It is generally believed that the picture is set b
In late March the company confirmed development of a many classes of smartphones based on the BB10 platform, but did nor reveal any actual models. The prototype[e
“Expect [mid-range BB10] around mid-year in various markets and we will address that […] properly in the midrange. But I mean fiscal year midrange, not calendar year. […] We are looking forward to that, because we know there is a big demand even in the midrange,” said Thorsten Heins, chief executive officer of BlackBerry, during a conference call with financial analysts.
Previously, BlackBerry was cautious about plans to design smartphones for mainstream market or even entry-level market, but as it appears, a mid-range BB10 handset is on track for release in the middle of BlackBerry’s fiscal 2014, which is around September – October, calendar 2013. Moreover, throughout this FY2014, which ends in March, 2013, the company wants to roll-out a top-to-bottom range of smartphones based on the BlackBerry 10 platform.
“Everybody is looking at the Z10, and we are proud of the Z10, make no mistake, but we are doing much more than that. We are building a portfolio in this fiscal year, so you will see us getting into the market with various products. You know, 1-1-1-1. So we are actually really working on a whole portfolio that we will take to market this year. That’s what we’re excited about,” said Mr. Heins.
At present it is unclear which segments of the smartphone market BlackBerry wants to address. For example, it is logical for the company to address the market of the so-called super-phones with 4.7” displays and larger. Besides, the company can try to roll-out an entry-level BlackBerry that would compete for the first-time smartphone users without huge budgets.
Earlier this year BlackBerry unveiled the first smartphones based on the BB10 platform: the Z10 with 4.2” multi-touch display with 1280*768 resolution (356 pixels per inch) and the Q10 with QWERTY keyboard and 3.1” display with 720*720 resolution. BlackBerry Z10 is available today for $199 with two years contract or for $699 unlocked in the U.S. The Q10 will become available in April, pricing is unknown.
BlackBerry did not comment on the news-story.