Amid signs the company is looking for a buyer, BlackBerry's next big thing has been given an early airing via a lengthy video. While the Z30 might not save the company, it looks like a great swan-song device, with the size and styling of the current top Android devices.
BlackBerry Aims For A Big-Screen Future
As with most other recent devices, like LG's G2, whose launch was practically free of any new information, the BlackBerry Z30 has been plagued with early glimpses and leaks. A new video in circulation offers pretty much a full guide to the phone, if your Vietnamese is up to scratch. It sports an AT&T logo, suggesting they will be leading with the device in the U.S. market.
While the company looks for a buyer, or other investment solution, it is still trying to round up end-user and developer support for the BlackBerry 10 ecosystem, and this phone could be the device to do it. With low-to-modest sales of its Z10 and Q5 devices, going all-in seems a reasonable strategy, and while the phone isn't quite a bleeding edge device, it still has plenty to commend it.
Packing a 5-inch AMOLED screen, similar to Sony's PlayStation Vita and larger Samsung phones, it supports 720p video and is quite the looker, retaining some of the styling of the Z10. Power comes from a 1.7 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 with enhanced Adreno graphics and 2GB of system RAM.
Users get 16GB of storage and expansion via a microSD card. Around the system are cameras, with a main 8-megapixel lens supported by a LED flash with a 2mp camera for video chat and taking executive selfies. Powering all that technology, along with 4G connectivity and other radios, there's a 2,800mAh battery.
Could Pricing Save BlackBerry
For a premium-class device, we'd expect BlackBerry to charge market norms for its devices. AT&T currently sells the Z10 for US$ 99 (most current devices go for US$ 199) on a two-year contract. But, if BlackBerry is really going to attempt a last stand before it looks for a partner or buyer, then it could make a brave statement and offer (for a limited period) the device free on contract to stir up interest.
That would be one way to see if there's any upside to BlackBerry's market share, or it could continue to pretend that it is playing on the same field as Apple and Samsung and slap a premium price tag on the device. With no official launch details yet, we don't know who else will be stocking the device or when it will hit stores.
However, with this level of information leakage going on, BlackBerry will have a hard time getting interest for the launch, as LG found last week. While Apple's level of secrecy rarely manages to do much better, with its upcoming September 10 event, at least they should have something hidden away to surprise us with.