Solid specs for BlackBerry A10 leak, but chasing sales through hardware is a tough road

BlackBerry Z10

Prices of current BlackBerry 10 phones have recently been cut in the U.S., indicating a newer device is on the way. It’s likely to be the A10 and, according to a Crackberry forum member, BlackBerry is boosting the size of the device compared to its Z10 handset.

The information comes from a leaked presentation slide with alleged full specifications of the new A10. If true — and these specs look reasonable to me — the A10 will use a 5-inch, 720p touchscreen display paired with a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor and quad-core graphics chip. Here’s a complete rundown of the reported specifications:

BlackBerry A series

All in all, these are the types of upgrades I’d hope to see in a new BlackBerry handset running BlackBerry 10.2. Some may be disappointed with the 720p resolution, instead hoping for 1080p, but that could add a challenge to developers who would have to support a new screen resolution. And developer challenges aren’t what BlackBerry needs amid device sales that haven’t yet met expectations.

It seems to me, however, that BlackBerry — and Nokia to a smaller degree — are chasing sales through hardware features when it’s not really the hardware that keeps people from buying anything other than iPhones or Android handsets. It’s true that the handset makers only have direct control over the phones they make; it’s up to developers and the platform makers to create APIs and SDKs to help developers make killer apps. I’m not sure what more BlackBerry can do in that regard.

But it’s increasingly clear that while hardware was once the leading “feature” of mobile devices, the software and ecosystem is just as important, if not more so, to generating sales.

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