RIM had their much awaited unveiling of their new BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system early this week. Some of the announcements include a company name change, new BB10 devices, release dates and… Alicia Keys?
First and foremost, lets start with RIM, or Research In Motion, will no longer bear that name. Their Chief Executive, Thorsten Heins announced today that they will officially be known simply as “BlackBerry”. This change comes after 28 years when they originally began using the name.
”It is one brand; it is one promise.”
Now on to the goodness (no not Alicia Keys…yet). BlackBerry announced the Z10 & Q10. Lets start with the Z10, the flagship device.
The Z10 is equipped with a 4.2-inch touchscreen pushing a resolution of 1280×768 at a cool 356 ppi. It is powered by a 1.5ghz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 2GB of RAM and has full 4G LTE compatibility.
The phone will hold 16GB of data internally and features a microSD slot for up to 64GB of additional storage. The phone has NFC capability and has both front and rear cameras; 8MP and 2MP respectively. As for the battery we are looking at 1800mAh battery.
The phone will launch on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile & Verizon in March in the US and will go for $200 with a two-year contract. The device launched in the UK on January 31st and Canada will see in on February 5th. It will come in both black and white, however the white is exclusive to Verizon.
As for the Q10, the major difference between the two devices is the fact that this one comes equipped with a physical QWERTY keyboard (hence the Q). BlackBerry says it is the widest keyboard they’ve ever produced, which should make it that much easier to speed type.
The processor, RAM, storage and cameras are all identical but comes with a square, 3.1-inch AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 720×720 at 330 ppi.
The device will also launch on all the major carriers but won’t see a US release until sometime in April and a UK/Canadian release is still to be announced.
Both phones will obviously come loaded with the BlackBerry 10 OS which has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. Some noticeable features include a fully controlled UI solely from gestures or swipes, a new BBM, full multitasking with “BlackBerry Cascades” and a social media integration center dubbed “BlackBerry Hub.”
The most noticeable difference in the features is the way the user interacts with the interface. As mentioned, the device is completely controlled through the use of gestures and swipes. There are no physical buttons on the device (aside from the keyboard on the Q10).
Lastly, and arguably the most shocking piece of news was the fact that musician Alicia Keys has been elected as the company’s new Creative Director. Details are sparse as to what exactly she will be doing in this new role but according to Ms. Keys her range of activities have been very “hands on.”
“I am an extremely committed and focused individual. I am going to work closely with the app designers and developers, the content creators, the retailers and the carriers to really explore this BlackBerry 10 platform and create ideas for its future,” proclaimed Ms. Keys on stage.
Only the future will tell whats in store for BlackBerry, but from the looks of it they are on the right track. While the new devices don’t stand out from the other flagships in the market it is definitely a contender and the BlackBerry loyalists will undoubtedly have a field day with them.
What do you think? Is it too little too late for BlackBerry, formerly known as RIM? Or do you think they came out of the gate swinging and will be here for some time to come? Shoot us your thoughts in the comment section below.