RIM has had a tough time competing with Apple and Google in the past couple of years. The heat has been so much that the company had no option but to reinvent itself from ground up.
At an event, CEO Thorsten Heins announced the launch of BlackBerry 10 platform along with two new devices - Z10 and Q10. Both the devices run on the new BlackBerry platform. The company will also switch its stock symbols to BBRY on NASDAQ and BB on TSX. The two new BlackBerry devices announced have been through a rigorous development cycle, according to Heins. The Canadian smartphone company wants to project a new image of being a company that makes great smartphones that people would ultimately love to use. The company has made a significant effort in attracting developers for building apps on its new platform.
It's not the first time anyone had seen the BlackBerry Z10 device. Thanks to a series of credible leaks and speculations in the last few months - we've all seen bits and pieces of RIM's upcoming BB10 devices. The Z10 comes with a 4.2-inch display with a resolution of 1280x768 along with a pixel density of 356 ppi. The smartphone is still bulkier as compared to the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III, its closest competitors. The Z10 is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, supported by 2GB RAM. The phone sports a removable 1800mAh battery and external memory card slots. The smartphone features Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, LTE and WiFi as connectivity features.
BlackBerry has made all attempts to keep the Z10 at par with the competition. This has resulted in some decent enough features packed into an almost good looking smartphone. Z10 has ports for micro-USB, micro-HDMI and even a 3.5mm headphone jack. It comes with an 8MP primary camera capable to shooting videos in 1080p high definition and a 2MP front camera that can take videos in 720p. The BlackBerry Z10 will launch in the UK tomorrow, in US around March and in February in a few other countries. The company is expecting to close operator testing soon, with international partners accepting pre-orders in the coming few days.
How can BlackBerry keep physical keywords away from its phones? It can't. The company announced a second device - BlackBerry Q10 which features both a touchscreen and a physical keyboard. The Q10 includes a full QWERTY keypad that loyal BlackBerry fans cannot do without. The smartphone includes a 3.1-inch AMOLED display and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor supported by 2GB RAM. It includes other standard features you'd expect from a typical smartphone of today.
It's not just about the devices alone. BlackBerry has spent a lot of time, money and energy on getting developers to build apps for BlackBerry 10. The company CEO announced that it has launched the new BlackBerry platform with 70,000 apps. Most of these apps are simply Android ports but a few are native as well. With the launch, more developers are expected to build apps for the platform while the company inks deals with major developers on top platforms like iOS and Android. It's only logical because people go where there are apps - it's a make or break situation for any mobile ecosystem in today's time.
It's still too early to predict if BlackBerry (earlier RIM) will be able to turn things in its direction anytime soon. It has a long way to go when it comes to winning over new customers and bringing back former fans. What is sure is that the company isn't leaving any stone unturned to make that happen, and happen quickly. BlackBerry has a very crucial year lined up for itself. With speculations still high on whether the company will license its operating system, Heins has a lot more to think about than just sales. Today's launch sets the path for the company's future. A lot depends on how customers react when the initial devices land in the market.
[Image Credits: BlackBerry]