Although BlackBerry may no longer be building its own smartphones, its licensing deal with Chinese firm, TCL, is set to bear fruit next year as new handsets are planned to debut during the Consumer Electronics Show in January, according to Tech Radar.
While info on the devices themselves remains patchy, it is expected that they will be powered by the Android operating system, with BlackBerry seeking to detach itself from its own-brand BB OS platform and ride on the coattails of Google’s far more successful package.
TCL’s press release regarding the launch also makes it clear that it is seeking to revive BlackBerry as a brand, focusing on the European and North American markets, where it was once one of the leading smartphone makers.
Recent BlackBerry releases, including the DTEK50 and DTEK60, have very much placed the emphasis on offering world-beating smartphone security, albeit at the expense of shedding yet more consumer appeal. TCL will be hoping to claw this back and potentially build handsets that are able to offer something for everyone, rather than solely being designed to meet the needs of business users, government workers and those in the armed forces.
When Apple unveils its new flagship mobile range in the second half of 2017, the devices on offer will be slimmer than any of their predecessors thanks to a change in the speakers that are used.
2016’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus managed to lose a little weight by ditching the headphone jack, a controversial move which is still seen as a misstep by many. But patents filed by Apple reveal that it is working on a cutting edge speaker system, which should not only benefit the iPhone, but also its tablet and laptop ranges.
Tech Radar points out that the iPad Pro already features a type of micro speaker technology which should be similar to that destined for the next iPhone, whether it ends up being called the 7S or the 8.
Last week also saw rumours that not one but two big screen iPhones would be making an appearance in 2017, with sources stating that Apple will finally be introducing a curved display to this range, so that it can compete with the Samsung Galaxy Edge devices. The launch of the new iPhone is a long way off, but anticipation is building already.
Chinese mobile maker, Huawei, has beaten Apple to the punch by debuting a smartphone with a curved display long before the rumoured iPhone 8 arrives with allegedly similar features, according to Tech Radar.
Known as the Honor Magic, this high end handset is also very similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Edge range of devices thanks to the fact that its 5.09 inch display curves around both sides, rather than being entirely flat.
Power is provided courtesy of the Kirin 950 processor, which has eight physical cores and is backed up by 4GB of RAM. Internal storage tops out at 64GB, which is more than enough for most modern users.
The battery should be able to hit 70 per cent of its capacity after just 20 minutes plugged into a mains connection thanks to a fast charging solution that Huawei has adopted. It also has face detection to allow for automatic unlocking, along with the latest version of Android for ample access to apps.
The Huawei Honor Magic has yet to receive a UK release date, but if it proves to be a success in China then a wider launch may well be on the cards. And with a curved iPhone set to arrive in 2017, this is a trend that is spreading.
South Korean mobile maker, LG, is poised to unleash a raft of new smartphones on the world in the first few weeks of the New Year, with insiders quoted by VentureBeat giving a sneak peek at some of its planned device launches.
The K-series range is getting some serious new additions, building on the cost-conscious foundations of earlier handsets, with models like the K8 and K10.
The LG X Calibur is also on the way, kicking off a new range and boasting a rugged design which can withstand immersion in water and use in a range of unsavoury environmental conditions. It will also come with a huge 4100mAh battery, giving it a lot more stamina than some of its rivals.
These phones will be making their debut during the Consumer Electronics Show 2017, which is set to be held in Las Vegas next month. LG will also be attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February, with even more fresh goodies to showcase.
The first half of 2017 is looking like it will be dominated by new arrivals from LG, which is clearly seeking to take on Samsung at every price point.
The next flagship smartphone from HTC will be landing next year, with industry sources claiming that it will come with a variety of high end components under its sleek exterior, according to Softpedia.
Insiders argue that power will come via the Snapdragon 835 chipset, giving it the edge over its competitors which have been released in 2016. It will also have a 5.5 inch QHD display, to give it a fighting chance against dominant devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Perhaps most impressive of all is the reported 8GB of RAM which will be paired with the processor, along with storage space topping out at 256GB. A 3700mAh battery will top all this off and give the HTC 11 a real chance to claw back some market share in 2017.
In terms of camera capabilities, the presence of a 12 megapixel snapper with a pair of lenses on the rear should be reassuring. And with an eight megapixel front-facing camera, its selfie quality should be excellent.
The HTC 11 is expected to launch in the spring and could make its maiden appearance during the MWC 2017 conference held over in Barcelona