BlackBerry betting on redesign to get back in game
Research in Motion, now officially known as BlackBerry, launched Wednesday two versions of its celebrated smartphones and a new operating system that, in the company’s words, has been “re-designed, re-engineered, and re-invented” to create “a new and unique mobile computing experience.”
Through the combination of the BlackBerry 10 platform and two new LTE-enabled smartphones, the BlackBerry Z10 (all-touch) and BlackBerry Q10 (touch with physical keyboard), the company is looking to make a comeback in the fast-moving smartphone market currently dominated by the Apple iPhone.
BlackBerry unveiled its new smartphones Wednesday at events held simultaneously in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, and Johannesburg.
“Today sees a re-invented BlackBerry launching an entirely new mobile experience,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry. “We are thrilled to be introducing BlackBerry 10 on the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones, to deliver a faster, smarter experience that continuously adapts to your needs. Every feature, every gesture, and every detail in BlackBerry 10 is designed to keep you moving.”
The unveiling was also coupled by confirmation from wireless carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and América Móvil that each would be adding the new devices to their lineups in Puerto Rico, when they become available next month.
“BlackBerry is back. AT&T was the first carrier to launch BlackBerry smartphones and services in the U.S. and we are pleased to offer the fully re-designed and modern OS to our customers,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices and Developer Services, AT&T Mobility. “The new BlackBerry 10 platform is a fresh take on today’s smartphones with all the key features BlackBerry fanatics need, including a refreshed version of RIM’s unbeatable email solution, a better browser experience and easy access to all their messages in BlackBerry Hub.”
Meanwhile, América Móvil, Claro Puerto Rico’s parent company also confirmed the device will be available “soon.”
“The arrival of the Blackberry Z10 is an important addition to our robust portfolio of equipment,” said Enrique Ortiz de Montellano, president of Claro. “We have thousands of loyal BlackBerry users who have long waited for this moment and we are pleased to announce that it will soon be available from Claro.”
Rounding out the list is T-Mobile, which said it will offer the BlackBerry Z10 with or without an annual contract obligation.
“T-Mobile USA is excited to partner with Research In Motion Limited to bring our customers the T-Mobile 4G LTE-enabled BlackBerry Z10 powered by BlackBerry 10,” said Lyanette Dávila, senior marketing manager for T-Mobile Puerto Rico. “With the BlackBerry Z10, T-Mobile’s customers can take advantage of the Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data, now with no additional charges or service interruptions. T-Mobile offers the service with or without an annual contract, with a smartphone that continuously adapts to their needs.”
Customers interested in the BlackBerry Z10 from T-Mobile can register at http://explore.t-mobile.com/blackberry-10-Z. Additional details, including device availability and pricing, will be shared at a later date, she said.
New look, new features
The new BlackBerry 10 smartphones are a complete shift from their predecessors, featuring a sleek design and the fastest operating system yet.
The devices feature 1.5 Ghz dual core processors with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and an expandable memory card slot.
They include the latest enhancements in high-density pixel and screen technology to display clear, sharp, and incredibly vivid images. Both feature a micro HDMI out port for presentations, and advanced sensors such NFC (near field communications) to support mobile payments and the exchange of information with a tap of the smartphone. They also have a removable battery, according to the product descriptions.
Among other features, the BlackBerry 10 gives customers “a faster and smarter experience that continuously adapts to their needs” with advancements such as:
- Peek and Flow into the BlackBerry Hub – A new mobile computing paradigm where what matters to customers is always only one swipe away
- Keyboard – Understands and adapts to customers, so they can type faster and more accurately
- BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) – Allows customers to share things with the people that matter to them in an instant
- BlackBerry Balance technology – Protects what is important to customers and the businesses they work for.