BlackBerry May Be Dabbling In Phablets With A 5- Inch Z10 Refresh

Posted: May 15, 2013 in Blackberry, Gadgets, GT, Mobile, Technology

BlackBerry’s wryly jovial CEO Thorsten Heins spent
quite a bit of time talking up the new mid-range Q5 at
this morning’s BlackBerry Live keynote address, but
the folks in Waterloo may be working on a follow-up
smartphone that’s staggeringly different from the one
we saw today. According to a report from KnowYourMobile, the
struggling Canadian company is working an all-touch
BlackBerry smartphone with a 5-inch display.
KnowYourMobile’s Richard Goodwin goes on to note
that the device is currently in testing being tested at
by unnamed Canadian wireless carrier, and the anonymous tester providing the info pointed out that
the device would make its official debut within the
next few months. For what it’s worth, Jefferies’ analyst Peter Misek
foretold of a 5-inch BlackBerry 10 device last month,
but his track record with this sort of thing isn’t exactly
sterling. It should go without saying that you should
be taking all of this with a mighty big grain of salt, but
it’s an intriguing notion to consider. I mean, let’s assume for a moment that this report is
accurate and that such a device really is being
worked on behind closed doors — it’d be quite a bold
move on BlackBerry’s part. It’s not hard to see that a
considerable chunk of people have embraced large
form factor smartphones, and it’s possible that BlackBerry wants to cash in on that consumer fervor.
Then again, this whole thing is just loaded with
question marks that could trip BlackBerry up as it
works to reverse its fortunes. By embracing so many form factors so quickly,
BlackBerry runs the risk of alienating users who have
perhaps prematurely pulled the trigger on an earlier
model. It doesn’t help that there’s plenty of
competition in the hefty smartphone space, either.
Samsung is leading that particular pack with Android- powered devices like the Galaxy Note II, but rivals
like LG and Sony are working to give the Korean
juggernaut some competition. Couple that with
persistent rumors that Apple is working on a larger
smartphone of its very own and BlackBerry’s 5-inch
follow-up may wind up facing the same issues with standing out as the company’s current hardware crop
does. The Q5 is a device that needed to exist — after all, a
huge chunk of BlackBerry’s userbase can be found in
developing markets where relatively few people could
comfortably shell out the money necessary for an up-
market device like the Z10 or Q10. If all goes
according to plan, the Q5 may be the phone that helps BlackBerry maintain its strongholds across the
globe. But a 5-inch BlackBerry? Heins and company
will have to make an awfully strong argument for if it
wants the world to give it a shot.


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