A leaked presentation slide has revealed almost all the specs for the coming BlackBerry A10 smartphone, and while this information is coming from a CrackBerry forum member, it has been backed up by other reports and was also shown in a video earlier Tuesday that has since been removed.
Since prices for the flagship BlackBerry Z10 and all BlackBerry phones are headed down, it seems like a good time for a new device to come out. Just yesterday the price of the Z10 began falling by as much as 30 percent in some markets due to BlackBerry selling a million fewer units than expected.
With BlackBerry executives trying to reassure that the company will be able to rebound, one way to reinforce that is by releasing a new high-end smartphone -- the A10.
If the leaked slide is correct, the BlackBerry A10 will include a 5-inch OLED screen, dual-core 1.7 GHz processor, quad-core GPU, 16 GB of memory, and it will run BlackBerry OS 10.2. These specs are good for the most part and will compete with current popular smartphones, even though some users may be unhappy with the 720p screen instead of 1080p HD resolution.
The A10 is expected be the new top-tier phone with these specs, which means that the Z10 and Q10 will be pushed down into the middle tier. Just like with the Z10, it appears as though the A10 will emulate the basic design seen on the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4.
Focus Should Not Be on Hardware
Many analysts are suggesting that BlackBerry should increase the hardware capabilities of their phones but Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group disagrees.
"They can't catch Google or Apple from behind, but they could get in front of them," Enderle told us. "The twist is that they are mostly a business-focused company, but it is individuals that are buying phones now and carrier shelf space favors Google and Apple."
Not only are specs no longer a huge selling point for customers when trying to drag them away from Android or iOS, but BlackBerry phones do not offer anything unique, Enderle said. There are certain aspects of the BlackBerry brand that need to be built upon, including security features for business professionals, but they should also find a way to take over the market with other features such as larger screen sizes or even a partnership with an automobile company.
While a 5-inch screen may have surpassed as "special" a few years ago, the actual large smartphones are all near or above 6 inches at this point. Enderle also pointed out BlackBerry's potential for working with car companies to boost sales, saying "The OS they use, QNX, is heavily used in cars and there should by strong synergy between the phones and automobiles. Granted, it would likely require they co-brand with the cars and create unique phones tied to the car brands."
This would require BlackBerry to travel down a different path with its phone manufacturing process, but in a world filled with iOS and Android devices, it may be the only way to survive, he said.