Research In Motion (RIM) has teased at the possibility that its eagerly awaited BlackBerry 10 smartphones may feature 4G LTE.
Speaking at the Westminster eForum seminar last week, RIM’s senior vice president of sales, Bob El-Hawary acknowledged that 4G will play a key role in the future of smartphone technology due to its ability to deliver substantially faster mobile internet speeds than 3G.
"4G helps us keep up with the standard people are expecting. We believe it will help us embark on a new era of mobile computing. It's not just about voice now but apps; it really is mobile computing," he said.
"The speeds we are talking about are very important compared to what we had in the past."
While not a clear admission that BlackBerry 10 handsets will boast 4G capabilities, it’s clear that RIM at least knows it needs to be on board with the latest standard if it wants to keep pace with rivals Nokia, Samsung and Apple, all of which have launched flagship LTE devices in 2012.
"With Blackberry 10 we want to ensure all products - tablet and smartphone - are good enough to support any app or service people want,” added El-Hawary.
RIM is due to lift the lid on the first batch of BlackBerry 10 devices on January 30th next year. Although analysts at Detwiler Fenton recently forecast that a QWERTY handset running the new OS won’t be available until June, RIM has denied there’ll be a lengthy wait for commercial availability once the handsets are officially announced.
It said in a statement: “Details of the commercial availability for BlackBerry 10 will be announced at the global launch events on January 30. Our executives have made it clear that the touch screen device will be available shortly after launch with the physical keyboard version to follow shortly after that.”
Assuming RIM can keep to a Q1 launch period, the first touchscreen-only kit will likely drop sometime in February, followed by a QWERTY variety in March.
Built from the ground up, BlackBerry 10 is set to bring a welter of new features to the platform, such as a unified mailbox, a more consistent and intuitive user interface in the shape of ‘BlackBerry Flow’, camera features such as Time Shift that lets you pick the best of multiple shots, improved text prediction and a faster, better web browser.
Are you looking forward to BlackBerry 10 or still not feeling the buzz? Tell us why in the comments section below.
The Inquirer, Forbes