Would you buy a BlackBerry flavored phablet?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: June 26, 2013

It has been suggested that blackberries are at their best when they're plump, juicy, and ripe. If you pick a blackberry before they're ripe and try to eat it, it will still be a blackberry, but you might not like it as much as the fully ripened blackberries you'll find later in the year. It's much the same as if you picked a BlackBerry earlier this year, it's still a BlackBerry, but you might not find it to be as sweet as the larger BlackBerry device that's rumored to arrive later on during Q4 this year: the BlackBerry A10. That is, if you're into larger devices.

Although nothing has been confirmed, rumors are ramping up about the mysterious phablet that's supposed to be the successor to BlackBerry's flagship BlackBerry 10 device, the Z10. The device is expected to have a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor and a 5" super AMOLED display. Sources say that the purpose of the A10 is to compete with other popular phablets like the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One, but in my opinion the A10 has a lot of odds to overcome when it comes to being in direct competition with either of those devices.

The first road block that comes to mind when it comes to the A10's potential success is timing: the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is supposed to debut sometime in late summer, the next generation iPhone is likely to launch at the very end of Q3, and the next Galaxy Note device is expected to follow shortly after at the start of Q4 if the last two years have held any indication. And, since we're already talking about rumors, we might as well throw in the HTC "T6", "One Max", whatever you want to call it - the big(ger) HTC flagship device. With other popular phablet choices likely to appear in the market, can the BlackBerry A10 really stand a chance?

Even if you take specifications out of the equation, the BlackBerry App World still has much to be desired. Fortunately, you have the ability to sideload Android applications if you want to. Further still, the future release of BlackBerry 10.2 will also bring support for Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) applications, as oppose to the 2.3 (Gingerbread) applications it supports now. This update may encourage more developers to convert their Android applications to BlackBerry OS, which could be a huge bonus if released around the same time as this rumored phablet.

I can't really compare specifications too much given that we only have the processor and the size of the screen at this point, and even those are subject to change. Since we're on the subject of screen sizes, however, we might as well talk about it. I have to hand it to BlackBerry for trying to cater to all markets. Even though 5" is the smallest a device can be in order to fit the Wikipedia definition of a "phablet", it's still a phablet nonetheless. The Z10 was a surprise from the company that specialized in phones with QWERTY keyboards, but the Q10 was a great way to keep the people who stuck around BlackBerry simply because of the physical keyboard. The BlackBerry Q5, which was announced shortly after the announcement of the Q10, is a great cheap alternative to other BlackBerry 10 devices for anyone not living in North America. So really, the only category of people they hadn't catered to was the phablet phans... I mean fans. They might not be the most popular brand in town, but gosh darn it if they aren't just the sweetest country peaches for wanting to make everybody happy when it comes to device design!

When it all boils down to the main question, I don't think that the A10 will be saving grace for BlackBerry. I think we can all agree that in order for BlackBerry to truly catch up to the popularity of the likes of the Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One, BlackBerry is going to need more tricks up their sleeve than that. That being said, I think adding a phablet to their lineup can only help them in this day and age when phablets seem to be taking over.

Readers, what do you think? Have you been waiting for a phablet-sized BlackBerry, or is something else holding you back? Tell me your opinions in the comments below!

Images via MobileSyrup, Crackberry