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I spent two days in snowy Waterloo, Ontario behind the hardware and software in the new and the upcoming Q10 in the first buildings of the new campus, including the new BlackBerry 'experience centre'.
BlackBerry has nearly two dozen buildings and one factory scattered across Waterloo. The company is moving from its blocky, anonymous buildings — many still displaying the RIM logo — onto a new campus designed with what CEO Thorsten Heins calls "the BlackBerry look".
And an new campus is not the only building BlackBerry is interested in: design inspiration for the new BlackBerry look came from classics like the Farnsworth House, a Mies van der Rohe building design VP Todd Wood (above) described as "the epitome of modern architecture and minimal design."
Although is the future, the older new BlackBerrys are also in evidence around the buildings, like this display in a reception area.
The new company name is on some buildings already - and it's definitely on the water bottles, USB sticks and T-shirts employees can treat themselves to.
The assembly line where BlackBerry made the first Z10s follows the Japanese kaizen system where workers suggest process improvements. When the process is perfected, BlackBerry hands it over to the factories where the BlackBerrys you can buy are built.
Some of the BlackBerry developer relations team are in the Communitech startup incubator and accelerator in Waterloo every day, which BlackBerry co-funds with Google and local universities. That encourages startups that might only think of iOS and Android to develop for BlackBerry 10 as well.
Although we saw plenty of iPhones and Android phones in use as we visited shops and businesses in the area, we also saw dedicated BlackBerry sections in big box tech stores like Futureshop.