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BlackBerry Said to be Planning High-End ‘Rio’ Handset for 2015

by Killian Bell | November 20, 2014November 20, 2014 5:01 am PDT

BlackBerry Passport-9

BlackBerry’s more recent smartphones have been targeting faithful fans who love their physical keyboards, but the Canadian company hasn’t given up on full-touch phones just yet. A high-end handset codenamed “Rio” is reportedly set to make its debut in 2015.

BlackBerry’s full-touch smartphones — the Z10, the Z30, and the Z5 — haven’t exactly been the saviours the company was hoping for. Although they may have persuaded some BlackBerry fans to give up real keyboards, they’ve done very little to persuade those using rival platforms to make the switch to BB10.

As a result, BlackBerry has seemingly been focused on keeping its existing user base rather than expanding it. More recent devices like the Passport and the Classic were designed to appeal to those already attached to physical keys in the hope that some of them may give up their Bolds and Curves and upgrade to BB’s latest software.

But BlackBerry will have another stab at an all-touch smartphone in an effort to attract new users, N4BB reports.

“I am happy to exclusively reveal BlackBerry is in fact working on a new high-end all-touch codenamed “Rio”,” writes Lucas Atkins. “Details, specs, or otherwise any other specifics surrounding the “Savior” slate device are slim at this time.”

When the BlackBerry Z10 made its debut last January, it wasn’t exactly a pocket-sized powerhouse, but it certainly wasn’t terrible, either. It had an impressive 4.7-inch 720p display, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, and a fairly decent 8-megapixel camera.

At the time, those specifications were pretty high-end, and we’d expect a similar approach with the Rio — if it is indeed to be a flagship device. But of course, specifications were never BlackBerry’s problem; the company will need to work hard to improve its software if it hopes to attract new users from rival platforms.


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...