With the help from an anonymous source, we have gotten our hands on what appears to be a BlackBerry 10 Roadmap for 2013! Boo-ya!! I'll explain more below, but first, here is a quick overview of the roadmap dates:
- 4G PlayBook - Q4, 2012
- BlackBerry 10 London/Nevada - Q1, 2013 - Europe launch before N. America
- BlackBerry 10 Upgrade for PlayBook - Q1/Q2, 2013
- BlackBerry device codenamed "Nashville" - Q2/Q3, 2013
- BlackBerry 10 inch PlayBook "Blackforest" - Q3, 2013
- BlackBerry device codenamed "Naples" - Q3/Q4, 2013
Before we go into what the roadmap is showing us, we were also told that RIM will be launching BlackBerry 10 in Europe 3-4 weeks prior to launching BlackBerry 10 in North America. Don't worry though, both launches will still take place in Q1. The BlackBerry 10 Europe launch is suppose to take place within the first week of January, while the North American launch to follow in the first week of February. The reason behind this, is because the European markets and media outlets have been better receptive to BlackBerry than the "doom and gloom" repetitive bullshit of the North American media outlets. RIM has also had much better success with BlackBerry in general in these other markets. This should give the global market more time to become accustomed to BlackBerry 10 and create the hype it needs to make it's way to the shelves of N. America and elsewhere.
Little has been known in regards to the BlackBerry 10 roadmap besides what we have learned from the delayed launch in the last week during RIM's earnings call. What we have known already is that the 4G LTE PlayBook will be on the market before the year's end. This will usher in the first BlackBerry 10 devices in Q1 of 2013, and PlayBook's running OS 2 will get a upgrade to BlackBerry 10 OS. Probably the best news about being a PlayBook owner you can get.
What really sparks our interest is what we have heard about possible other BB10 devices which names were discovered hidden in the data of the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. These were codenamed "Nashville" and "Naples." The roadmap tells us that the Nashville is tracking between Q2/Q3, and Naples Q3/Q4. As to what these devices are, we are still uncertain, but there has been speculation that they may be variations of the QWERTY N-Series. It would make sense being they all have a codename that starts with the letter N. Or, they could very well be variants of a 7 or 10 inch PlayBook tablet - not enough info yet.
Since the release of the 7 inch PlayBook there has been many speculations and rumors as to when, or if, there will be a 10 inch PlayBook to ever see the market. As far as over a year ago there were rumors that RIM had completely stopped any kind of plans for a 10 inch PlayBook so that they could focus on getting BlackBerry 10 OS out first. This makes sense that we would not see a 10 inch PlayBook hit your happy little hands until BlackBerry 10 is launched. This also means that any tablet launching after Q1 will also come equipped with the BlackBerry 10 OS.
We've known that the device codenamed "Blackforest" has long now been rumored to be the 10 inch BlackBerry tablet. Based on the roadmap, it looks to be tracking for Q3, 2013. There is also the number "128" shown besides the "Blackforest" codename. Could this mean that the first 10 inch PlayBook will come in a 128 GB model!? This could be very well so, as RIM has just nixed the 16 GB model, citing that less of memory is just not going to be relevant anymore as they continue their focus on higher capacity models. As apps and OS content continues to become more jam packed rich, I think seeing a 128 GB tablet hit the market in Q3 of 2013 makes a whole lot of sense!
It looks like 2013 is going to be RIM's year for a chance as the comeback kid. I'm hoping to see when we attend the main BlackBerry Jam event this September in San Jose, that more light will be shed on BlackBerry 10 and the many questions coming from the community. I'm still hoping that in some ways this roadmap isn't true, and RIM will surprise us with a early BlackBerry 10 release in Q4 of this year. Either way, keep it here for any updates to the upcoming BlackBerry 10 launch!