BlackBerry planning 5-inch Z10

BlackBerry planning 5-inch Z10

BlackBerry is reportedly planning to follow up the success of its new touch-screen Z10 smartphone with a larger model.

Experts have claimed that the Canadian firm is looking to introduce a second model with a five-inch screen, to rival the Galaxy Note 2.

They believe that the move towards a larger device, featuring the firm's BB10 operating system could be its secret weapon to regaining its hold of the business market.

Reports suggest that the larger Z10 could hit the market as soon as the last three months of the year, which could spark demand from professionals using their own devices for work-related purposes ahead of Christmas.

Devices with a larger screen have been gaining some traction in the business market in recent months as the success of the Note and Note 2 has spawned a number of new five and six-inch rivals.

Peter Misek, Jefferies & Co analyst, told CNET that BlackBerry will also be launching mid-range versions of the new smartphones this year, with one following a similar design to the Q10 and one with just a touchscreen.

The expert has also backed BlackBerry in the row over a note published earlier this week, which claimed disgruntled users are returning their Z10's in numbers.

BlackBerry has called for stock market investigations in the US and Canada after the announcement saw its share plummet. The smartphone manufacturer claims that return rates are "typical" of new devices coming onto the market.

Chief executive Thorsten Heins has been pleased with how the Z10 and the new BB10 OS has been received by users, particularly the percentage of new customers the additions have attracted.

He revealed that profits jumped by more than 500 per cent in the period on the back of the launch of the Z10 at the start of February.

Mr Heins indicated that the rise in profits experienced over the period was due to a growth in new customers taking on the device for its multitasking and business benefits, with 55 per cent of Z10 users coming from other platforms.