Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
4/17/2013
12:48 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

5-Inch BlackBerry Unlikely

Analyst's prediction of a large-screen BlackBerry smartphone contradicts statements made by the company.

BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
BlackBerry has been tight-lipped about new smartphone models beyond the Z10 and Q10, other than to suggest that more devices are on the way. The company revealed earlier this year that it might bring as many as six new BlackBerrys to market before December.

Analyst Peter Misek believes that only two or three new models will launch by year's end. Of these, he predicts there will be a mid-range touch device and a mid-range QWERTY device. Misek's comments about mid-range devices fall in line with reports published in recent weeks about these possible smartphones. He came to these conclusions based on checks with Asian component suppliers.

Misek also thinks at least one of these new smartphones will be a 5-inch phablet. He's probably wrong about that. Here's why: BlackBerry needs mid-range and entry-level smartphones more than it needs another flagship smartphone.

[ Blackberry says reports of high Z10 return rates are "false and misleading." Read Blackberry Denies High Z10 Return Rate. ]

The Z10 and Q10, announced earlier this year, both qualify as high-end devices. They have top-notch build quality and boast features that are on par with flagship devices from other smartphone makers. At most, BlackBerry might field one more high-end device this year, but it likely won't.

"We intend over time as we transition the portfolio to have a full range of devices," said BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben during an interview back in January. "A full range" implies that some BlackBerrys will be high-end, some mid-range, and others entry-level.

Park of BlackBerry's growth strategy for 2013 is to expand its reach in emerging markets. In India, for example, BlackBerrys are still popular. Despite their popularity, BlackBerry can grow there only with low-cost smartphones, not high-end phablets.

Another reason Misek's assertion about a 5-inch BlackBerry phablet is off: BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said that the Z10's 4.2-inch touch display will be the only big screen size it offers this year. The reason? To make life easier for developers. By giving developers only one screen size to target, it will help them get new apps to BlackBerry World sooner and with fewer headaches.

While anything is possible, BlackBerry has been pretty clear so far this year about what to expect in terms of its hardware. As much as some people might like to see a phabletized BlackBerry, chances are slim that we'll see such a device this year.

InformationWeek is conducting a survey to determine the types of measures and policies IT is taking to ensure the security of the full range of mobile assets on cellular, Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies. Take the InformationWeek 2013 Mobile Security Survey today. Survey ends April 19.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 20, 2014
CIOs need people who know the ins and outs of cloud software stacks and security, and, most of all, can break through cultural resistance.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.