BlackBerry has 'exciting' flagship phone planned for holidays

The company plans to offer as many as four different phones this fiscal year, including one CEO Thorsten Heins says he's very excited about. The Q10 could arrive two to three months after the Z10.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins introduces the Z10 and Q10 at the launch event in January. Sarah Tew/CNET

BlackBerry is cooking up something CEO Thorsten Heins says he's "very excited about": another flagship smartphone that may hit during the holidays.

"There's one new product I'm really excited about, but I can't really share it," Heins told CNET in an interview today.

Heins confirmed that the company would have a midtier device later this year, and another "exciting" device for the holidays, although he wasn't 100 percent sure it would hit by year's end. He said there would be three to four BlackBerry 10 devices this fiscal year.

On what makes the planned flagship phone so exciting, he said, "It takes BlackBerry 10 to another level in terms of the user experience."

BlackBerry unveiled two devices at its January launch event. One is the all touch-screen BlackBerry Z10, which debuts in the U.S. tomorrow. The other is the BlackBerry Q10, which looks more like the traditional QWERTY BlackBerry.

Heins said he expects the Q10 to hit markets two or three months behind the Z10, with the timing largely dependent on carrier approval, adding he wanted to be cautious and not overcommit on the timing of the launch.

While industry observers are eagerly waiting to see how these phones perform, Heins is already looking ahead. The ultimate goal for BlackBerry is to expand its product portfolio to include three tiers of smartphones, each with their own QWERTY and touch-screen options, a strategy he calls his "one-two punch."

"We're building that portfolio," he said. "We need to get into that depth and into those tiers."

The BlackBerrys will all use the same size display as the Z10, which has a 4.2-inch display, or the Q10, which has a display that's half the size. The company is keeping the same resolution and dimension so developers can build apps that look consistent across future products, Heins said.

"We're cooking in the kitchen now," he said.

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About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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