The wait is finally over. BlackBerry has announced its new BlackBerry 10 device – the Z10 on Wednesday January 30 2013. Surprisingly, Canadian manufacturer Research In Motion changed its name to BlackBerry yesterday and launched its new mobile operating system and phones running on it.
With its new portfolio, the company aims to break the duopoly between Android and iOS and emerge as the next favorite of smartphone buyers.
The new BlackBerry 10 has created a buzz among technology watchers and financial analysts, thanks to nifty features that may set it apart in an overcrowded smartphone market. RIM stock has almost tripled during the past four months on hopes the devices can restore it to sustained prosperity.
RIM has been gambling for its survival on the much-delayed BlackBerry 10, hoping to claw its way back into an industry now dominated by Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy.
The timing may be just right. The new phone hits the market just as the iPhone’s remarkable run is showing some signs of slowing.
“I believe the consumer market is ready for something new,” said Kevin Burden, head of mobility at Strategy Analytics, an industry consulting firm.
“I have to believe there is some level of user fatigue that plays into the longevity of some of these platforms,” he added, referring to Google Inc’s Android and Apple’s iOS, which are both more than five years old.
The phone was announced by BlackBerry during its BlackBerry 10 launch event on Wednesday. The company claims that it is the best BlackBerry smartphone to date. It features a screen that has been designed specifically for touch input. The company has also announced the full QWERTY-based Q10, though not much is known about it yet. Another surprise is that the device will make it to Indian stores before it goes on sale in the US.
A big asset of BlackBerry 10 is what the company has dubbed the “BlackBerry Balance,” a system that allows users to separate professional communications and applications from music, photographs and other personal items.
For instance, IT managers can prevent personal apps from running inside corporate firewalls, but those managers won’t have access to personal data on the device. Such an option means that if a user changes job, his or her former company can disable the device’s corporate side without affecting personal data.
For enterprises, Blackberry Balance lets CIOs control security while allowing the owner to have complete privacy.
Apps like Facebook have been completely integrated with the BlackBerry 10 hub. All emails and notifications from such applications as Twitter and Facebook go to the BlackBerry Hub, a nerve centre accessible with a finger swipe even if you have another application open. One can peek into it and open an email, or return to the previous application without opening the email.
Another new feature in BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) allows users to share screens.
BlackBerry introduced Story Maker, an app to aggregate content such as photos and videos into one stream. BlackBerry Story Maker is meant to allow users to create mini movies and share them on social networks.
The BlackBerry 10 platform will be available on BlackBerry Z10 and Q10.
BlackBerry Z10 features a 4.2-inch touchscreen with 356ppi pixel density and 1280x768p resolution. It is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Krait processor and comes with 2GB RAM. The company has provided the new device with 16GB onboard storage and support for expansion up to 32GB via microSD card.
The all-new Z10 also has an 8MP camera that can take 1080p videos, and a 2MP unit in the front. For connectivity, the device has Wi-Fi, 3G, 2G, 4G (market dependant), Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.
BlackBerry Q10 has a 3.1-inch SuperAMOLED touchscreen with 328ppi pixel density and 720x720p resolution as well as a Qwerty keyboard. It is also powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Krait processor, coupled with 2GB RAM.
At the launch, BlackBerry The company introduced the feature of BlackBerry Flow, one that allows users to move in and out of applications with ease.
The company claims that more than 70,000 apps are available for users in the BlackBerry World.
Though RIM has done well in developing markets, it has haemorrhaged customers in the US, a market that sets technology trends. RIM’s fourth-quarter North American market share fell to 2% from more than 40% three years ago.
The line of BlackBerry smartphones that Blackberry Ltd unveiled yesterday has succeeded on one crucial count – getting the embattled company back in the conversation… With all fingers crossed, Way more to go BB.