BlackBerry in No Rush to Launch Low-End BB10 Smartphones, Company Says

BlackBerry launched the Z10 in Canada and the UK earlier this month and will release the device in the US in March. Its alternative flagship device, the Q10, will launch worldwide in April.

The two devices are decidedly different: one has a large touchscreen and no physical keyboard, while the other boasts BlackBerry’s iconic physical keyboard and a smaller touchscreen. But they’re also the same: both devices are top-end smartphones that compete in quality and performance with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s finest Android offerings.

High-end devices are great, as Apple and Samsung can surely attest to, but they don’t cover the whole market. So cheaper users have been wondering when BlackBerry will launch lower-tier smartphones. BlackBerry has finally spoken on that topic. And apparently, said users will be waiting a while.

BlackBerry European MD Stephen Bates told TechRadar the company was focused on ensuring consumers perceived the Waterloo-based company as high-end first and foremost.

“We’ve brought out these high-end devices as a as a statement of intent—to demonstrate vividly the new BlackBerry,” Bates told the news site. “Our intention is to evolve that portfolio to enter the mid-tier. But we don’t see us getting to the entry level tier for some time; certainly not this year. Based on the great sales we’ve had over Christmas in the UK there is a demand for the entry level BlackBerry and we don’t want to give that up so we’re going to continue with Curve and the entry level as we bring BlackBerry 10 down through the mid-tier and eventually into the entry level.”

So it’s likely we’ll see one or two mid-range BlackBerry 10 smartphones this year, but nothing in the lower tier until 2014.