It appears as though BlackBerry is readying a new high-end touch screen smartphone for release later this fall. According to CNET, the new device, which is currently dubbed the A10, will feature a more polished design than the Z10. The new handset is also expected to come with premium hardware that will put it on par with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Apple’s iPhone. Unfortunately, there are no images of the A10 available yet.
CNET is also reporting the the A10 already has a carrier lined up in Sprint. You’ll recall that Sprint initially passed on BlackBerry’s Z10 during the phone’s launch, though it did snatch up the QWERTY keyboard-equipped Q10. If the report is to be believed the A10 will launch some time in the November time frame. If past practice serves as a precedent, BlackBerry could also launch the latest version of its BlackBerry 10 OS with the A10, just as it launched an updated version of the operating system with the Q10.
As CNET notes, if BlackBerry does indeed launch a new high-end device, it will knock down the Z10 and Q10 a peg, moving them into the mid-range smartphone position. Such a move would more than likely result in a price drop for the Z10 and Q10, as both handsets currently cost $199. Very few smartphones are priced higher than that at launch, with Samsung’s Galaxy Note II serving as the sole notable exception.
Should BlackBerry move the Z10 and Q10 down, it will have all levels of the smartphone market covered, with the A10 serving high-end buyers, the Z10 and Q10 serving mid-range purchasers and the recently revealed Q5 meeting the needs of entry-level customers. While this news is still only rumor, it does jive with BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Hein’s remarks earlier this year that the company would be launching a more premium BlackBerry toward year’s end.