The future of the BlackBerry brand may be up in the air if you ask a lot of people, but we've probably got at least a little while longer with the company before any huge changes take place. BlackBerry, formerly known as RIM, is still hoping that BlackBerry 10 snags its hooks into the general consumer, and they've got at least one more device coming down the pipe to try and make that happen.
As it stands, we've seen a few devices running BlackBerry 10 released into the wild already. The device family lineup is pretty diverse already, with a full-touchscreen device sitting at the top of the list, and a pair of physical QWERTY 'boards to add some accent. The Z10 was the first, and it looks like the A10 will be the last of the new devices for the year 2013.
We don't know a lot about the upcoming handset right now, either. The most repetitive rumor is that the handset will boast a larger, 5-inch display. It's also said to feature a Super AMOLED panel. We've also heard that AT&T, Verizon and Sprint will all be carriers of choice for the large A10, which should help BlackBerry earn some sales.
With the A10, BlackBerry's just rounding out their family of devices. By offering a device that fits certain niches, they're hoping that if the Z10 wasn't right for you because it had a small 4.2-inch display, the 5-inch variant will be the perfect option. We're seeing the same thing from HTC and their One family (and this is a trick that Samsung has down pat). Only time will tell if it's enough to actually make an impact for the company or not.
We already know that they need a focus on software, with apps and games. Maybe that's what we'll see happen by the end of 2013.
Or we won't. If we don't see anything change, then what we will see may be a big ol' shakeup for BlackBerry in general. We already know they're reading the tea leaves and weighing their options, just as they have in the past. But if a larger phone, with presumably better specs, running the newest version of their mobile OS can't sway customers their way, then what else can?
So, let's talk about what's next. What if, even. But we'll build it upon something that we already know is coming: BlackBerry app headed to other platforms. We've known that the BlackBerry Messenger app was headed to iOS and Android for some time now, and by all accounts it still is -- even if we don't have an exact release date yet. So, what if we just expanded that?
I get asked a lot about what I think of a BlackBerry Z10 running Android. I get asked a lot why BlackBerry doesn't just start using Android as their main mobile OS of choice. Drop BB10, and just go with Android. Turn into the next Samsung, or HTC, or LG, or whoever else. And, sure, that could probably get BlackBerry to stay on the map for a bit longer, I just can't really see the appeal. I definitely don't want a Z10 running Android.
And instead of just running Android and putting a BB10-inspired proprietary user experience over the platform, I'd like something else entirely. I want something a bit more interesting, and in the same vein as seeing them release their apps onto other platforms.
We've heard rumors of BlackBerry's software finding its way onto other devices, being licensed off and being used by other manufacturers. Like Samsung. Now, while I will admit that I don't think this would happen, simply because the other manufacturers already have a lot on their plate with Android and Windows Phone, I think it would be a unique possibility.
I may not want Android on a BlackBerry Z10, but I don't think I'd mind a Samsung Galaxy S 4 running BlackBerry 10. Or an HTC One, or an LG G2 running BlackBerry's mobile OS. Sure, you still run into that software problem with apps and what not, but if they could address that, and people still don't switch over to the BlackBerry-branded hardware, then maybe they'd jump on board a handset like the GS4 running BB10.
It just comes down to apps. But, if BlackBerry can get more app support, then the question would change from, "Why aren't you using BlackBerry 10?" to why you just aren't using BlackBerry in general. So be sure to let me know what you think. Would you consider using BB10 if it were on a device like the GS 4 or One?