Well folks – its finally here. Its January 30th, and the new generation of Blackberry devices have been announced. There’s a lot of news about everything, and I’m trying to bring as much as I can, as concise as I can, in a relatively short and easy to read article. I’ll give it a whirl, but if you have specific questions, or are looking for live coverage of the event, give the folks over at BGR a click, as they are live at the event. But for those of you that want a pretty solid overview of what’s happening with Blackberry, read on.
So first and foremost, lets get the name thing out of the way. The Canadian company that made the Blackberry handsets known as Research in Motion (RIM for short) will henceforth be known as just “Blackberry.” A smart move for my money, since anyone not a “tech geek” or an industry insider probably didn’t even know RIM made Blackberry devices to begin with. So cut out the middle man and the confusion and just settle in with the brand everyone already knows. As for “knows and loves” well…we’ll have to see.
- Blackberry will be releasing 2 new smartphones this year – the Z10 all touch device, and the Q10 device with a physical keyboard. The Q10 is likely the device that will seem most familiar to Blackberry loyalists, and the Z10 is Blackberry’s idea of what the “prosumer” market is looking for. An interesting gamble…but a gamble nonetheless
- The Z10 will sport a 4.2″ HD display, at 1028×768 pixels, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm dual core processor with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and an 8MP rear camera. Nice surely, but nothing to write home about when compared to other current smartphones on the market in terms of specs. I think Blackberry is hedging their bets that long time Blackberry fans will be more enticed by the brand and how it works than the specs.
- The Q10 will have a full QWERTY keyboard and a 3.1″ display. This is the more traditional or “business” type Blackberry that the general public is most familiar with.
- As for carriers – right now it is known for sure that Verizon will sell the Z10 device for $199.99 with a new 2 year agreement, and the device is scheduled for a US launch sometime in March. All four carriers will be receiving the Z10 device, but pricing and launch dates for them is not currently available.
- The Q10 is expected to launch sometime in April of this year.
- The Blackberry App World is expected to roll out 70,000 apps to its new smartphones…but so far early reviews hint at a mixed bag of apps primarily designed for the Blackberry Playbook tablet and major apps from recognized app developers are missing or still in the works. Notable apps not available as of today – Pandora, Netflix, Spotify, and Google Maps.
- Blackberry’s new global creative director is – Alicia Keys! That’s…cool, right?
Reviews of the Z10 from other sources: