BlackBerry 10 launches; RIM unifies brand with name change

BlackBerry 10 launches; RIM unifies brand with name change

Summary: At events in major cities around the world, the BlackBerry maker rests its final chance of survival on the latest BlackBerry 10 platform, which the Canadian smartphone maker launched today.

SHARE:
TOPICS: BlackBerry
49

New York: Research In Motion (RIM) today launched two new devices running the long-awaited BlackBerry 10 platform at events around the world, including in London, Paris, and Dubai. And to illustrate how BlackBerry 10 is an all-or-nothing bet on the future, RIM has rebranded itself BlackBerry as a company.

thumb1
(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

The BlackBerry maker also announced two new devices: The touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 and the hardware keyboard-enabled BlackBerry Q10.

bb10013013a
(Credit: BlackBerry)

The Z10 comes with a 4.2-inch display with 356 pixels per inch (ppi), along with a textured backing that makes it comfortable to hold. The Q10 comes with a fully fledged mobile QWERTY keyboard from a slightly smaller portrait display. It comes with a glass-weave cover, making it thinner and lighter, but also stronger than plastic.

Both devices come with a 1.5Ghz dual-core processors with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and an expandable memory card slot. Also included is a micro-HDMI output port on each device and near-field communication (NFC).

And, as expected, both devices will connect to compatible 4G LTE and HSPA+ networks.

bb10013013b
(Credit: BlackBerry)

The Z10 will be available from March in the US on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, but price will vary by carrier. Heins attributed the network testing phase as being the main reasons for the delay. It will be available in the UK tomorrow on all carriers--including EE, O2, Vodafone, BT, and Three--with pricing set by carrier. The Z10 will be available in Canada on February 5.

The smartphone maker said the Z10 will retail for "around $149.99 on a three-year contract."

The Q10 will be made available to worldwide carriers in April, and pricing will range between £36 and £45 per month for a two-year contract on most networks. In most cases, upfront fees should be expected.

Today, BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins said, "Finally, here we are." He noted that today was not the end point of more than two years' work; it was the "starting line" for a new wave of BlackBerry products.

And then Heins dropped a surprise bomb on the audience by announcing that "Research In Motion" would become "one consistent brand that is recognized around the world." RIM will therefore become "BlackBerry," combining the name of the company and the platform together.

"One brand, one promise," Heins said.

RIM--sorry, I mean BlackBerry--has already garnered support from the three major carriers: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. In total, BlackBerry has more than 650 carriers around the world.

BlackBerry global creative director Alicia Keys--yes, the singer--also shows that the company formerly known as RIM is also targeting not just soccer moms, but also moms in the workplace, according to Heins' introduction.

She said, almost too honestly, that she left the BlackBerry platform but came back after balancing two phones between work and home. Interestingly, BlackBerry has a solution to such a problem: BlackBerry Balance, which targets bring-your-own-device (BYOD) users. The software allows users to separate work and home lives with BlackBerry Balance, by splitting secure enterprise email and work apps with personal email accounts.

Read this

BlackBerry 10 launch: By the numbers

BlackBerry 10 launch: By the numbers

BlackBerry, previously known as Research In Motion (RIM), launched the new BlackBerry 10 platform this morning. Here are the numbers you need to know.

Last week, BlackBerry released the back-end mobile device management service BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10, which powers the new BlackBerry's secure message service, along with policy management of the devices, along with both iOS and Android phones.

The launch of the new platform and devices comes at a crucial time for the Ontario, Canada-based smartphone maker.

BlackBerry has been under pressure to release the next wave of BlackBerry smartphones--its primary business focus--in a bid to reclaim a considerable quarter-on-quarter loss in mobile market share.

BlackBerry 10 was also delayed by a whole fiscal quarter following poor first-quarter sales put the company's cash-flow situation in the spotlight. The company also cut 5,000 jobs as part of a major restructuring effort to refocus the company's efforts on the BlackBerry 10 platform.

BlackBerry--which remains $RIMM on the Nasdaq--climbed by more than 4.6 percent in early morning trading, but dropped dramatically to more than 5 percent by the end of the launch event.

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 13.14.01
$RIMM on the Nasdaq by midday trading.
(Credit: Google Finance)

Topic: BlackBerry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

49 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • i wish them luck

    They have been around a long time. Quality devices though the UI has never been my cup of tea.
    LarsDennert
    • Ui is sh1te.

      The UI is shite, even to BB7, and from a bygone age. Comparable to the mess Symbian got Nokia into.

      The keyboard is hateful, sized for a child's fingers.
      neil.postlethwaite
      • Keyboard

        Since "the keyboard is hateful".
        Can you share with us what brand has a better keyboard in portrait mode?
        Thanks in advance.
        thekman58
        • imho

          Those phone keyboards are all just damn little, physical or touch... Phones should come with a typist midget albino monkey so he types whatever you say... end of line. point.
          erick.mendes
          • You...

            ....dhould just get a box of cryons and go amuse yourself.
            NoAxToGrind
          • I want one

            Where can I find one of these midget typing mikeys that you speak of? Maybe Nokia will announce a new one at the Monkey World Congress (MWC) in February. I am truly excited.

            My biggest fear is that the Albino monkey won't go with my black iPhone
            Burger Meister
          • Damn keyboard.

            midget typing mikeys
            should be
            midget typing monkeys
            Burger Meister
        • windows phone on a 920 are much wider than iphone and galaxy

          gf has a iphone and my work cell is galaxy.

          When I did own a bb storm 2, you could could change keys to a super wide two letter combo, that was AWESOME.
          everss02
          • Huh

            Not wider than my Galaxy Note!
            slickjim
        • A different keyboard layout...

          I agree that those tiny keyboards are pretty fiddly on any of those phones (I've tried loads, including things like the Palm Treo, because I don't like on-screen typing).

          However, the type I like most is where the keyboard slides out sideways from the back of the phone, turning it into a what looks a bit like a tiny laptop. The width of the keyboard is therefore the *length* of the phone, not the width of the phone. This definitely helps, but it makes the phone much thicker.
          Thack
      • really

        When was the last time you used it. Have you used BB10. Have you even placed your hands on either of the phones. The answer to both would most likely be no. Therefore you are making an uneducated guess. I am not saying it is the best thing since sliced bread, but it looked promising. Some people on here just hate blackberry and it would not matter what they would have come out with today it would have been no different. Give it a chance before you can it.
        striker67
  • Good name change, that's about it

    Great and over due name change, but RIM is in it's death throes, unless it can junk the HW and deliver BES Messaging as an App for IOS, Android and WP - as Good Mobile Messaging have.

    They'll be in the toilet like the once powerful Polaroid Corporation soon, now a brand to slap on OEM consumer electronics from China.
    neil.postlethwaite
    • Difference

      There is a big difference between Polaroid, Kodak and such. All the other ones didn't try to completely re-invent themselves. You can't say that about BB, they almost completely gutted their old phones and start new.
      slam5
    • B10 will be a successul one this time

      RIM has a very good marketing strategy this time and the B10 is wll-known before it is available to the market.

      I am wondering what smart phone are you using? iphone 5? they are all manufactured by the factories in China.
      SmilingGuy
  • Good luck BlackBerry

    Kind of weird writing that. Looks like a nice phone with some nice features. Would love for someone to come out with a dual SIM phone so I could use it with two numbers. I know there are some but I'm not aware of any smart phones with this capability. Perhaps there are Android phones?
    ye
    • Dual SIM

      I have a dual SIM Samsung GT-S6102. I use it when travelling with a local and a global SIM, but also use two while at home to separate friends from business. It is not that smart, using Android 2.3.6. That is my second Samsung Duo. The old one was pretty dumb, but had mapping and internet. I don't know about the newer versions, but I saw a four SIM phone on display recently in an airport shop.
      ait10101
      • Thanks for the informaton.

        It is appreciated.
        ye
      • A *FOUR* SIM phone?

        How OTT can you go?

        What I would love is an up-to-date smartphone with dual-SIM (2.3.6 is not quite there...) as easily being able to separate personal from work calls is a HUGE bonus, as you can't always tell who is calling from the CLID - especially when it is "Blocked", and carrying two phones is a wee bit tedious.
        rahbm
  • Looks like a sweet design.

    Always liked QnX as an OS. Fast, responsive, solid. Upgraded an OS once without rebooting or restarting any software.
    Bruizer
    • QNX! Yay!

      Hey, I didn't realise they were using QNX. I'm a massive fan of QNX - it's a super-elegant, super-slick derivative from Unix, and it's decades old and thus comprehensively sorted. It's rock-solid and used in all sorts of mission-critical roles.

      More info here:

      http://www.qnx.org.uk/products/neutrino-rtos/index.html

      I like this bit:

      "Under QNX Neutrino, every driver, protocol stack, filesystem and application runs in the safety of memory-protected user space, outside the kernel. Virtually any component can fail — and be automatically restarted — without affecting other components or the kernel. No other commercial RTOS offers this degree of protection."

      I've often wondered why it hasn't made it into a more consumer-visible role, but assumed it was due to licensing costs or something. Mind you, the OS is only half the story, of course. It'll need a decent supply of third party apps, I would think.
      Thack