Former business phone standard, BlackBerry®, is taking the smartphone industry head on. In its last effort for a comeback, the company introduced two new device models, an official brand name change, new operating system and celebrity executive.
At this morning’s live conference, CEO Thorsten Heins confirmed BlackBerry® will be taking over as the official brand name of Research In Motion (RIM). The company introduced the Z10 and Q10 smartphones, which will run on the new BlackBerry® 10 OS.
While the main focus of today’s events was the Z10, we do know the Q10 will feature a physical QWERTY keyboard — the Flagship feature of BlackBerry® devices. Similar in looks to the BlackBerry® Bold, the Q10 will also have a removable back with replaceable battery and stylish carbon fiber design.
By comparison, the Z10 is an all touchscreen device that is larger than the iPhone 5, but smaller than the Note II, therefore allowing users to navigate the device with just one hand. It runs on a replaceable 1800mAh battery and the aforementioned BlackBerry® 10 operating system. Its lightweight design is made almost entirely of plastic, with no buttons or toggles on the front display. Like former BlackBerry® models, the Z10 has a LED light which blinks red for notification alerts. The straightforward home screen contains simple icons on its 1280 x 768 pixel display, slightly upping that of the iPhone 5.
Perhaps as well-known as the QWERTY keyboard, is BlackBerry’s unique messaging platform, BlackBerry® Messanger (more commonly known as BBM). The new OS also includes voice and video messaging, as well as Screenshare– a function that allows other users to see your screen.
Another notable take away from today’s event is the bold 70,000 “launch apps” that Heins promised to be available on the BlackBerry® 10 platform. This includes popular apps such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as mobile games like Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds.
One of the more unexpected moments of this morning’s conference, was the naming of Alicia Keys as BlackBerry’s Global Creative Director. Her new role is especially surprising since the music tycoon was a self-proclaimed “iPhone junky”.
The BlackBerry® Z10 will begin to trickle into the marketplace as early as this week for UK consumers and is expected to be available to the US in mid-March. Coming in both black and white, the device is expected to be priced at the $200 price range with contract.
Incipio® will be launching an extensive case collection for BlackBerry® Z10 nationwide in March 2013 with a wide variety of protective case offerings in multiple color options.