BlackBerry’s release of their 10.3 SDK this morning brought a lot of attention to the Classic, and future BlackBerry 10 updates to the community, while unfortunately including a little bit of confusion as to how things are going to launch.

BlackBerry’s developers post stated [Bold emphasis is ours]:

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“Another important note for developers is that BlackBerry 10.3 is targeted only for new device hardware being introduced later this year. This new hardware will follow our promise of keeping the square screen (1:1 aspect ratio) and 16:9 aspect ratio, including our common 720×720 and 1280×720 resolutions.

Also, when you fire up the 10.3 beta simulator, you’ll notice another square screen. This is for a new device with a 1440×1440 resolution and pixel density of 453 DPI.

I know, I know… you want more details on that new device, but we’re not quite ready to give them yet, so hold tight and watch the blog for more information! In the meantime, testing with the 10.3 beta simulator will allow you to see how your application will behave in this new resolution and DPI combination, so we encourage you to check it out as soon as you can.

BlackBerry Classic is also arriving this year!

Now that you know that BlackBerry 10.3 targets new hardware and that the BlackBerry Classic device is arriving this year, I’d like to clarify that the BlackBerry Classic will launch with BlackBerry 10.3.1. BlackBerry 10.3.1 will also be available to all current BlackBerry 10 smartphones as an OS update later this year. So the time you spend testing your app right now will help get it ready for upcoming and in-market BlackBerry 10 devices.”

Automatically, a few of us thought “holy crap, they’re skipping 10.3 for the Z10, Q10, Q5, and Z30, and making us wait longer for an update!” If you thought that, you’re not alone. Thankfully, while this is the case, it’s really not nearly as bad as it may sound, and believe it or not, it’s actually a good thing that BlackBerry is choosing to do this. Here is what BlackBerry is trying to tell us:

  • A new device or devices with BlackBerry 10.3 out of the box is/are launching this year before the Classic.
  • The Classic is launching in November with 10.3.1
  • The 10.3.1 updates for every device will also launch in November along with the Classic

Why is this the timeline?

Well, BlackBerry has some exciting devices down the pipeline that they can’t tell us about yet, that will launch before the Classic goes on sale presumably. This is the only reason why they’ll be launching with 10.3, and not 10.3.1. The Classic needs new developer tools for the trackpad, back button, and menu button; etc, so a new 10.3.1 SDK will be released for it when the time comes.

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Instead of BlackBerry updating all their devices to 10.3, having to wait for all carriers around the world to approve it and push it, and then turning around and doing it all over again with 10.3.1, they’re simply going straight to the latter in a shorter timeframe.

The confusion that a lot of BlackBerry lovers have had on social media stems from two things. The labeling of the OS, and the fact that a device that’s been announced will be launching after one or two devices that haven’t been announced do.

When we hear 10.3 and 10.3.1, we naturally think back to 10.2 and 10.2.1, and for those of us in the U.S. that never got 10.2 officially, we think back to the really long wait we had for 10.2.1. Of course, that was completely on the carriers though, but nevertheless, we make that connection. I’m hopeful that by going straight for 10.3.1, and skipping 10.3 BlackBerry can cut down the time for updates to be processed by these carriers and get them released in a timely fashion to everyone around the world.

The Classic was announced back in February but won’t be launching for another 6 months, while a new device (or devices) may come out before. That truthfully hasn’t helped explain the order of what is happening and it’s happening when either. There was good reason for it, but it understandably confused some people.

Technically yes, BlackBerry will be skipping 10.3 on the current devices out now, but that’s only so that the Classic (which needs new tools from 10.3.1’s SDK), and the actual 10.3.1 update can come out faster for everyone.

What it really boils down to is the fact that we’re going to have an insanely hot QWERTY-packing device that sports a 1440×1440 screen, a Classic BlackBerry 10 device for those that wanted it, and a ridiculously cool major update in 10.3, and 10.3.1 this year.

And that’s pretty freaking exciting.