RIM also announces that it is changing its name to BlackBerry.
RIM (Research in Motion) has today made its long awaited comeback with the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, whilst also unveiling the first two BlackBerry 10 handsets – the Z10 and Q10.
Launched simultaneously in London, New York, Toronto, Paris, Dubai, Jakarta, Johannesburg and Delhi, RIM President and CEO Thorsten Heins took to the stage to officially unveil the BlackBerry 10 OS, along with the Z10 and Q10 smartphones, the latter of which features the firm’s trademark physical keyboard.
“Today sees a re-invented BlackBerry launching an entirely new mobile experience,” said Heins. “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.”
Among the key features exhibited during the launch was the BlackBerry Hub, which is designed to serve as a single location from where users can manage just about everything; from incoming messages and email, to social media and BBM.
Also demonstrated was the BlackBerry Balance function. This allows one phone to be used for both business and personal use, keeping both areas entirely separate from one another.
Furthermore, the BlackBerry Flow feature has been designed to enable features and apps to flow seamlessly together. For instance, you can tap on an attendee listed for a meeting to see their latest tweet or LinkedIn profile.
It was also announced that the BlackBerry 10 messaging (BBM) feature will receive the addition of video calling.
Meanwhile, the BlackBerry World storefront, which now includes 70,000 BlackBerry 10 apps, boasts a host of leading application providers, with Disney, Cisco, Foursquare, Skype and Rovio all committing to the platform.
“At Foursquare, we are extremely excited to launch our new BlackBerry 10 application and to continue developing on the platform,” said Dennis Crowley, co-founder and CEO of Foursquare. “Our team built the app just for BlackBerry 10, and the result is an amazing Foursquare Explore experience to help people around the world make the most of where they are.”
“We're delighted to bring Angry Birds Star Wars to BlackBerry fans around the world,” said Petri Järvilehto, EVP of Games, at Rovio. “It's a great platform that gives a fantastic gaming experience, so fans can experience the struggle of Rebel Birds vs. Imperial Pigs to the fullest!”
“Bringing Where's My Water? and Where's My Perry? to BlackBerry 10 smartphones will introduce some of Disney's most popular mobile games to new audiences,” said Tim O'Brien, vice president of Business Development, Disney Games. “The new BlackBerry 10 platform is an exciting opportunity to expand Disney's network of mobile players.”
“We’re proud to extend Cisco’s WebEx technology to the BlackBerry 10 platform letting customers of any size join, start, view content, and stay connected to WebEx meetings right from their BlackBerry 10 smartphone,” said Raj Gossain, vice president of Product Management, Cloud Collaboration Applications Technology Group at Cisco. “Our customers access Cisco collaboration capabilities, such as instant messaging, IP voice calling and conferencing on BlackBerry smartphones to stay connected anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. RIM and Cisco have worked together to develop an application that is user friendly and meets the needs of our global customers.”
“We are excited about our plans to bring Skype to smartphones running the brand new BlackBerry 10 platform,” said Bob Rosin, vice president and GM of Business Development for Microsoft's Skype division. “We are working closely with BlackBerry to ensure Skype runs great on BlackBerry 10 devices. This will give BlackBerry 10 users a great Skype experience, including free voice and video calling, sending instant messages and text messages, sharing photos, videos and files, and calling to landlines and mobiles at Skype’s low rates.”
So, on to the new handsets. Both feature 1.5 Ghz dual core processors with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and an expandable memory card slot. They also offer a micro HDMI out port for presentations, and advanced sensors, such NFC (near field communications), to support mobile payments.
Models of the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 will be available from carriers to support their respective 4G LTE or HSPA+ networks, and all available models include connectivity support for global roaming.
The BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones will be available in white and black. For more information about the new smartphones, please visit www.blackberry.com/blackberry10
Consumers in the UK will be able to get their hands on the BlackBerry Z10 as of tomorrow on pay monthly contracts and pre-pay plans from EE, O2, Vodafone, Phones 4u, BT, 3UK and the Carphone Warehouse.