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BlackBerry’s Next Smartphone Could be a Phablet, CEO Says

by Jacob Kleinman | June 11, 2014June 11, 2014 10:00 pm PDT

BlackBerry-Z3_solo

After pulling the Canadian company back from the brink of destruction, BlackBerry CEO John Chen laid out a two-pronged strategy to return the phone-maker to its former glory: work with Foxconn to sell cheaper touch-screen phones in emerging markets while developing its next flagship phone at home. Earlier this year BlackBerry launched the Z3 in Indonesia, and in an interview with The Jakarta Globe the company’s CEO hints that its next device will likely be a phablet.

A year or two ago the 5-inch Z3 would have been considered a phablet, but in a world where flagship smartphones push past five inches the rules have changed. By today’s standards we’d guess the upcoming BlackBerry handset will measure at least 5.5 inches across its diagonal, though whether the device actually hits the market is still up for debate. “If we will do another thing we will probably go to phablet,” Chen told The Jakarta Post, adding, “If I have the opportunity I will go to phablet.”

The Z3 just launched in Indonesia, so we probably won’t see a follow-up phablet launch any time soon. In the meantime we’re still waiting to see what comes out of the company’s own Waterloo offices, where it’s been developing a device called the BlackBerry Classic set to launch this November. The upcoming smartphone is expected to offer a physical QWERTY keyboard and a large square display, though it’s possible BlackBerry will tweak its final design before the device hits the market.

BlackBerry tried its luck with a larger handset in the Z30, but that wasn’t exactly a runaway success. If the company does hop back into the phablet market, it’ll need to be a much more compelling offer, especially with such incredible Android devices flooding the market.

Jakarta Post

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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