New BlackBerry full-touch A10 on the horizon, BBM to come preloaded on rival handsets?

New BlackBerry full-touch A10 on the horizon, BBM to come preloaded on rival handsets?

Summary: BlackBerry could launch a higher-specced successor to the Z10 by November, according to reports.

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BlackBerry could launch a new full- touch smartphone called the A10 by November, adding another high-end BlackBerry 10-powered device to the company's range.

The A10, codenamed Arista, is thought to offer higher specs than both the Z10 and the keyboard-equipped Q10.

The US carrier Sprint Nextel, which does not sell the Z10, has already agreed to sell the forthcoming A10, according to ZDNet's sister site CNET. However, the deal is said to be non-exclusive, meaning other operators might also offer it.

The A10 is rumoured to have a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display and 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, according to BlackBerry enthusiast site CrackBerry

ZDNet has asked BlackBerry for a comment and will update the story when it receives one.

Reports of the new device come as BlackBerry's chief operating officer, Kristian Tear, played up the prospects of BBM on third-party devices.

Tear told CNET that there was interest from other handset makers in carrying BBM as a preloaded app, but he declined to mention names.

The prospect of opening up BBM to other platforms was first announced at the BlackBerry Live conference in May, when the company said it was working on iOS and Android versions of the messaging app.

Despite a tentatively positive last quarter, BlackBerry sales — even in the UK, where the new Z10 has been available since January — are still well short of where they were a year ago, according to recent figures by Kantar. So, as the company has said previously, devices will be important in the future, but it is also pursuing revenues from services.  

Opening up BBM to third-party devices could give BlackBerry a life outside of its own devices and dramatically expand its current 61 million user base, putting in the new class of messaging apps, like WhatsApp, which now boasts more than 200 million users, and Viber, which also claims to have 200 million users.

BlackBerry is also looking to exploit its infrastructure for use in the automotive industry, launching a new service in coming months that will offer vehicle makers OS-independent "over the air" software update and distribution capabilities.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Mobile OS, BlackBerry, Smartphones

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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Talkback

10 comments
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  • Blackberry

    Good to see Blackberry back in game. Move BBM to Android and Apple is a great idea.

    Really liking my Z10 so far, finally got Skype too!
    kooool1
    • Great response

      Going once...
      Raid60
  • Blackberry

    Good to see Blackberry back in game. Move BBM to Android and Apple is a great idea.

    Really liking my Z10 so far, finally got Skype too!
    kooool1
    • Great response, #2

      Going twice...
      Raid60
  • Blackberry

    Good to see Blackberry back in game. Move BBM to Android and Apple is a great idea.

    Really liking my Z10 so far, finally got Skype too!
    kooool1
    • Great response, #3

      And third time is does the trick...
      Raid60
  • Smart Business Moves

    Good to see the BBM strategy is not tightly bound with the handset strategy. Contrast Microsoft, which wields its different divisions to reinforce each other's hegemony, rather than letting them freely find the profit wherever it is to be found.

    BlackBerry is certainly looking smarter than Microsoft. Whether that's enough to succeed is another matter...
    ldo17
  • "BlackBerry is certainly looking smarter than Microsoft."

    Sure about that?

    MS has a Tablet that is actually useful. Actually...MS has TWO. BB has ONE tablet that is basically an expensive paperweight.

    I know...I own a PlayBook...and BB has been promising BB10 for it for over a YEAR now...and still nothing. And not a single mention of it at their last Dog & Pony Show.

    My money is on MS here.
    IT_Fella
    • re:My money is on MS here.

      BBRY up 100% over the last 8 months.

      The Q10 just hit American shores this week, BES10 now rolling out, BBM multiplatform this summer, Q5 and Z5 later in the summer, than the A10......BBRY still way undervalued, good luck with your MS money, being fond of making money I'll stick with BBRY instead.
      pfezziwig
  • BBM

    Who really cares if they have BBM, or can get it on their phone, I didn't use it when I owned a Blackberry. All the reviews said how wonderful the keyboard on the new Blackberry is, So before I decided on a new phone I tried it out, and it is better than android 4.2 but it lacks a lot of being better than Windows 8 on my Nokia 920, it is not even as good as Windows 7.5 was on my Nokia 900. I was expecting a lot from Blackberry 10 and where it is an improvement, it is really nothing new or better than what is out there now. And letting other phone makers use what sets Blackberry apart from the others like BBM, is in my opinion just putting more holes in an already sinking ship.
    tocool37