During this morning's earnings call, BlackBerry announced they'll be releasing another BlackBerry 7 smartphone this year. Yes, you read that correctly. Another BlackBerry 7 smartphone is in the works. No other details were given officially about this specific device, but we've got your unofficial scoop into what this next-but-actually-from-the-past-generation smartphone will encompass.
According to some people we've talked to, this next BlackBerry 7 device is codenamed Samoa. Yes, just like the Girl Scout cookie. The Samoa is rumored to be in the Bold line of devices, not the Curve line. It will also feature a large touchscreen display, and the typical BlackBerry physical QWERTY keyboard we've all come to love.
The Samoa will also debut with OS 7.2. A notch higher than the current highest legacy OS, which sits at 7.1. While 7.2 should bring improved performance and stability to the OS, we're not expecting it to look much different than the current OS 7.1. It definitely won't resemble BlackBerry 10 with the Hub, Peek, and Flow, so don't get your hopes up for it.
Since it will be java based, this device will not have access to the same apps that have made their way to BlackBerry 10 in the last few months. It will, however, have access to the apps that were on BBOS, and haven't been officially ported over to BB10 (UberSocial, Pandora, SocialScope; etc).
Now, for the question on everyone's mind, why is BlackBerry doing this?
Aside from the attractiveness of revenue-munching BIS, BlackBerry 7 devices are still outselling their BB10 counterparts by almost 2-1 in the last two quarters; a mind-blowing statistic when you take into account how much better most of us believe BlackBerry 10 is to the older OS. Alas, some of BlackBerry's key regions of growth demand the need for a cheaper, BIS-enabled device.
It's not just about the actual phone being cheaper, but also the data plan. When a carrier can incorporate BIS, it can be keep the costs of data down and offer customers a cheaper plan to work with. This went away with BlackBerry 10, which is why in those areas, BlackBerry 7 devices are still selling like hot cakes.
The Samoa should be making its quiet debut before the Aristo and another secret BlackBerry 10 device hit the shelves this winter. Dare I ask, are you interested in a new BlackBerry 7 in your area of the world? Let us know below in the comments.