Will a bigger screen and a focus on gaming rejuvenate BlackBerry?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
BlackBerry's next flagship device, reportedly the last new BlackBerry 10-based handset expected to launch this year, keeps leaking out and showing off all its curves. We've known about the A10 for a little while now, even if only by name alone. The key details are still missing, but rumors and reports are doing their best at trying to fill in the holes while we wait for BlackBerry to officially announce the handset.
While we're waiting, though, we get to see in bits and pieces what BlackBerry has been working so hard on along side the Z10, Q10, and Q5. This new handset is meant to fill the top-tier of the top-tier, supposedly, and with that means plenty of stand-out features. Specifically, the larger display.
If you'll recall, the BlackBerry Z10, the BlackBerry 10 device with the largest display available right now, has a screen size measuring 4.3-inches. While that may not be big enough for everyone clamoring for devices like Samsung's Galaxy S 4, or even HTC's One, some consider it almost perfect. The A10 is reportedly meant for those who felt like the Z10, along with the Q10 and Q5 by default, just weren't big enough.
So, for those wanting a bigger display, the A10 is rumored to be just for you.
With a 5-inch display, the BlackBerry A10 would indeed be one of the larger smartphones available to purchase here in the United States. Not the biggest, but obviously that's not what BlackBerry is going for. While there may be many reasons for the A10 to exist, it's pretty clear that BlackBerry wants to provide options, and the easiest way to do that is with screen sizes. It speaks to a wide range of consumers, just by changing the display size, especially if you keep the internals of the devices relatively the same, from one size to the next.
Before the A10 started leaking out all over the place, there were reports making the rounds that the A10 would be a device to focus on gaming, aided by the larger display. That would seem to fall right into line with a question I asked all of you back in February: "Does BlackBerry take gaming more seriously than Microsoft?" Back then, I showed you a lot of well known titles that the BlackBerry 10 platform had that Windows Phone 8 was still missing. That's changed quite a bit since then, though, even if both platforms don't compare to Android or iOS (yet).
A bigger focus on gaming would indeed mean that BlackBerry is hoping to catch the attention of a lot of different core demographics with one device, even if the rumors would also suggest they aren't necessarily striking out to suck in folks craving the latest high-end specifications. With a Super AMOLED 720p display, and another dual-core processor, people who need the latest and greatest probably won't even give the A10 a second glance.
There is an obvious silver lining here, though. If BlackBerry is indeed putting the microscope over their gaming endeavors for the BlackBerry 10 platform, and they're using the A10 as a major jumping off point, then that means BlackBerry's developer relations have been working in overdrive, and have apparently made some major deals along the way. Big deals means big games, and hopefully it means that BlackBerry 10 won't be waiting months to get the newest games, while Android and iOS continue to make a clean sweep of the competition.
Developer relations for BlackBerry 10 getting any kind of supercharge is good news, whether it's regarding games or just applications in general. It will be interesting to see what BlackBerry announces later this year, along with the A10 itself. But, I can't help but want to ask one simple thing:
Will a bigger screen and a focus on gaming rejuvenate BlackBerry, and BlackBerry 10? There's obviously a market for devices with big screens, and based on what we've seen of the A10 so far, it certainly fits the bill. But I can't help but wonder if this new hardware, or even a focus on bringing new games to the platform, will ultimately change much. If anything, I think (and hope) BlackBerry announces some major app additions to the platform as well. Maybe some interesting exclusives, too.
What do you think of the A10 so far, based on what you've seen? Have you been waiting to purchase a BlackBerry 10-based device? Would a larger display finally get you to pull the trigger? Or have you decided to skip the platform entirely? Let me know!