Report: BlackBerry's next flagship smartphone, A10, to drop during holidays

BlackBerry's (NASDAQ:BBRY) next high-end flagship Blackberry 10 device will be called the A10 and will roll out during the holiday shopping season, according to a CNET report.

BlackBerry Q5

The BlackBerry Q5 is the company's newest phone, which targets emerging markets.

The report, citing unnamed sources, said that Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) will be one of the carriers launching the all-touchscreen device, but that Sprint will not have an exclusive deal for the phone. The phone will sit at the top of BlackBerry's smartphone portfolio, pushing the already-launched Z10 and Q10 to the middle tier and the recently announced Q5, which is aimed the emerging markets, to the low tier.

Representatives from Sprint and BlackBerry both declined to comment, according to CNET. Sprint has committed to the Q10 and has indicated it will launch more BB10 devices beyond that. In March, AllThingsD reported that Sprint would launch an all-touch BlackBerry in the latter part of this year; Sprint did not sign on for the touchscreen Z10.

The Q10 is going on sale this week from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) and is expected to be available from Sprint this summer.

BlackBerry COO Kristian Tear declined to discuss the A10, but spoke broadly about the company's future. "Innovation is a really, really important cornerstone for BlackBerry," he told CNET.

Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins has talked about building a portfolio of devices to help the company attack multiple price segments with BB10. Many analysts have said that BlackBerry needs to broaden its portfolio of BlackBerry 10 smartphones to regain market share around the world, especially in emerging markets.

Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone inched ahead of BlackBerry in terms of market share, 3 percent to 2.9 percent, in the race to challenge marketplace leaders Android and iOS, according to research firm IDC. However, both Microsoft and BlackBerry trail iOS and Android by wide margins.

Meanwhile, Tear hinted to CNET that BlackBerry is in negotiations with competing manufacturers to offer its signature BlackBerry Messenger chat service as a preinstalled application on their phones. Last month, BlackBerry said it will port BBM to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, enabling users to interact across multiple mobile operating systems. "There is interest from other handset makers," he said, noting that interest is fueled by BBM's sizable user base: 61 million worldwide, including 42.7 million daily active users. Tear declined to name any specific companies in talks to offer the preloaded BBM app. For more on BBM, read this FierceMobileContent article.

For more:
- see this CNET article

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