The BlackBerry Z10 launched in the U.S. two weeks ago and the QWERTY-fied Q10 is expected to hit the market later this month. And if BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has his way, more BlackBerry models – designed to be more affordable and a better fit for emerging markets – will soon follow.
In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, Heins said BlackBerry will unveil a broader range of smartphones later this year. He foresees three tiers: high-end models, mid-tier and entry-level.
“In order to stay relevant, we have to build a portfolio,” said Heins. “We will bring it out at the moment when we can expect the biggest market attention for these products.”
Between September and November is the expected time frame for the launch of the new mid-tier models, which will be one touchscreen model and one QWERTY model. Lower end models in select emerging markets could also run BlackBerry 7, confirmed Heins, instead of the newer OS, as a transition step. BlackBerry has had strong success in emerging markets with its affordable Curve models.
Several media outlets reported Monday on what purported to be a leaked Blackberry product roadmap that showed these new models, as well as a 10” tablet scheduled for a summer 2013 launch. However, a subsequent post from the originating Twitter account, @BB10Leaks, indicated it was an April Fools prank.