Thursday, 18 July 2013 14:41

BlackBerry A10 powers past Z10 Featured

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The BlackBerry A10, expected to be released in September, has significantly higher specifications than the Z10 which has been struggling to make sales - a 5” OLED screen, 1.7GHz quad core processor, 2GB ram, 2800-mAh battery.

BlackBerry is in a difficult position. No matter how good the OS and hardware is – and it is very good for the market it serves - it has not been able to regain its former glory and investors are getting irritable.

BlackBerry’s stock has plummeted from $14.91 per share on June 26 to a close of $9.12 per share on Tuesday 16 July. Investors are very disappointed with the lower than expected 2.7 million unit sales in Q2 – down 12%.

Major resellers have dropped the price of Z10 from $199 (2-year contract) to $49 – a sign of both weak sales and desperation to move excess inventory before customers delay purchase for a new model.

According to CrackBerry website, the A10 specifications include:

  • Processor: Dual core 1.7GHz Qualcomm NSN8960 Pro, Quad Core GPU
  • Radio: LTE/CDMA/HSPA+, LTE/HSPA+
  • Display: 5" OLED, HD/WXGA, 1280x720, 24-bit color, S-Stripe Pixel Arrangement, 295 PPI
  • Dimensions: 140.7 x 72 x 9.4mm (9.7 Verizon)
  • OS: BlackBerry OS version 10.2
  • Camera: 8.0MP Rear Camera with flash, IS, 5X 2.0MP Front Camera, IS 5X
  • Memory: 16GB + 2GB (RAM) + 64GB uSD (hot-swap)
  • Connectors: Micro USB, Micro HDMI Out
  • Sensors: Ambient Light, Proximity, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Altimeter
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n (4G Mobile Hotspot)
  • Battery: 2800 mAh integrated
  • Other: NFC, DLNA, Micro SIM

I sincerely wish BlackBerry well. It deserves to succeed even if most support it only as the underdog. Its products and OS are good, and its messaging system is great.

I cannot fathom why it persists with hardware – there is no money there and it cannot hope to get the manufacturing economy of scale it needs. Let us not forget that it has more contracts with telcos (for its messaging) than any other smartphone manufacturer and is trying to leverage those so hardware does make sense for now. For my money, I would rather see BlackBerry as an app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

BlackBerry is not the only company suffering. Global smartphone shipments are expected to show double-digit negative growth in Q2 – the pie is contracting.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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