Sprint had announced that it would skip on the all-touch BlackBerry Z10 launch in favor of focusing on the keyboard equipped BlackBerry Q10 launch. Now, we’re learning that Sprint may be holding out on the launch of the BlackBerry Z10 in order to wait for the Z10’s all-touch successor.
According to All Things D, which is reporting the news based on comments from a ‘source familiar with the situation,’ the all-touchscreen BlackBerry 10-powered handset that Sprint will debut later this year is described to be a “follow-on handset to the Z10, rather than just a slightly modified version of the initial all-touch phone being sold by Sprint’s rivals.”
Likely, the model referenced here will be another high-end touchscreen model as BlackBerry had stated that it would be focusing on the high-end market this year.
Neither Sprint nor BlackBerry had announced this phone, and neither company has offered any comments about the All Things D report.
There is little information about the handset. It’s unclear why BlackBerry would be launching the successor the BlackBerry Z10 in less than a year but one potential reason would be to upgrade the important specs to make the BlackBerry platform more competitive with rival offerings, like those running Google’s Android OS. For example, the BlackBerry Z10 was launched with a more modest dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor and a 720p HD display. Android handsets are now focused on quad-core processing power and 1080p HD displays, and likely BlackBerry will want to update its touchscreen-centric smartphone with similar specs to be competitive.
The BlackBerry Z10 will be launching on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Sprint had opted to launch the Q10, which has a familiar design similar to that of the BlackBerry Bold 9930 on Sprint currently with a touchscreen square aspect ratio 720p display above a physical hardware QWERTY keyboard. The Q10 is expected to launch by mid-year in the U.S. The Sprint touchscreen-only BlackBerry device is expected to launch in the second half of the year.