BlackBerry Squared

by Volker Weber

BlackBerry does not give me any advance information. I know as much as you do about what may be coming up. But I can do some educated guesswork.

Let's look at the current line-up:

BlackBerry is working on a few things to better target their existing business customer base. I expect a Z3 for Europe, which would require a change to the modem to enable LTE. Already pre-announced is the "Classic" which is a crossover of the Q10 and some elements of the BlackBerry Bold 9900. It is supposed to bring back the strip with make and break buttons as well as menu and back. And the trackpad, so that the old muscle memory still works. Die-hard Bold users are hanging on to their devices with outdated software. The Classic should look something like this:

Classic

Next up is a successor for the Bold 9900 based P'9981 . That sold very well in the Middle East. Its successor, the P'9982 could not differentiate enough from the Z10 and was less successful. A Q10-based P'9983 could look something like this.

P9983

It would give Porsche Design more stuff to work with and avoid the Achilles heel of the P'9981. While everything was extremely sturdy, the plastic strip underneath the screen came off too easily. Still, I am not sure this is what we are going to see, since it kind of contradicts the idea of the Classic.

And finally, there is the big one, that currently goes by the name of Windermere which may look similar to this rendering.

Windermere

There are specs floating around that say it has a 1440x1440 pixel square 4.7" screen. This is the one I am really curious about. It's a very odd shape and I have no idea how you hold it when typing. And there needs to be some keyboard augmentation on the screen. Can't wait to see that one. And be able to talk about it.

Comments

Personally, I dislike the Porsche design devices. They just look too outlandish for my tastes. Give me a nice solid curve style design. Having said that, my personal phone is the old reliable Javelin (8900) - yay 14 day battery life - and my work phone is a Z10 (running the latest beta code of course!)

I've seen the "Windermere" around the office. I'd say it's just too big to use as a phone. But then again it doesn't seem to have been designed to fit that niche. It's more a "phablet" style. If you're a business user it will really suit your needs. Especially when it comes to typing a long email. As for your "keyboard augmentation", suspect that it would be something along the lines of the Playbook. I don't know because I haven't used one in anger. But thats my best guess.

The usage and keyboard reminds me of the old Psion 5mx style. Now there was a superb piece of engineering. Give me a QNX based device in a Psion hardware and I'd be a very happy bunny indeed.

Dragon Cotterill, 2014-06-14

Well, a Javelin with 256 MB of storage and 480x320 screen is a bit too far in the past for me. Is that trackball still rolling?

Volker Weber, 2014-06-14

Javelin with an 8Mb SD card in it, and a software hack to put apps on the SD card. The browser is still just as lousy as ever, but then I don't browse the web much from my device anyway.

And yes that track ball still works just fine, thank you. There is a trick to cleaning it.

Place the device upside down on a clean piece of printer paper on a hard surface. Press down slightly and move the device in a circular fashion for about 30 seconds. Viola, all dirt is gone from the trackball and you're back to scrolling again.

Dragon Cotterill, 2014-06-14

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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