RIM has fully unveiled its new operating system, BlackBerry 10, today at BlackBerry World 2012 in Orlando, Florida. The new OS isn't expected to be available on any consumer devices until later this year, but the company's given a quick demo that shows new widgets, a new touchscreen keyboard, and new gestures. Be sure to stay here for more information on the OS and the developer tools as we hear them.
Mar 11, 2013
AT&T has just announced that it will offer the BlackBerry Z10 to customers on March 22nd for $199.99 with a two-year contract. The carrier plans to open up pre-orders tomorrow, March 12th. At $199.99, the BlackBerry 10-equipped phone will be going head-to-head with the iPhone 5 and top-end Android phones like the Galaxy S III. The price isn't a surprise, but some were hoping BlackBerry would attempt to woo customers with a lower price-point than the competition. Today's announcement matches day and date with rumors that the Z10 would hit the US on the 22nd. Verizon has already announced that it plans to sell the smartphone for the same price in "mid-March," and T-Mobile has confirmed that it, too, will offer the phone. Sprint, meanwhile, will only carry the keyboard-equipped BlackBerry Q10. The device originally went on sale on January 31st in the UK.Read Article >
Update: Best Buy locations will also be accepting pre-orders for the Z10 on AT&T starting tomorrow.
Mar 2, 2013
Sprint has now confirmed that it will not be carrying the BlackBerry Z10, the first phone to run the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. Instead, the carrier will only offer the keyboard-equipped BlackBerry Q10. Mark Elliott, a spokesman for the carrier, told Bloomberg that "we aren’t saying there’s anything different about our customers... we think our customers will be happy with the QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen on the Q10."Read Article >
The news was not wholly unexpected: Sprint drew a bit of attention to itself in January when it released a press release announcing plans to sell the Q10 while failing to mention the Z10 whatsoever. At that time, Sprint representatives wouldn't confirm that the carrier had no intention to sell the touchscreen-only Z10. The three other major US carriers — AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile — have confirmed that they will sell the Z10, and all save for T-Mobile have promised support for the Q10. The Z10 is expected to go on sale this month in the US, while Americans will need to wait until May, at the earliest, for the QWERTY-equipped Q10.
Jan 30, 2013
BlackBerry is about to enter the battle of its life, and as you'll see in my review of its new flagship phone, the Z10, it's using everything in its arsenal to win. Maybe win is the wrong word; perhaps victory for BlackBerry right now is something more like not losing everything. Because if you've been following this story, you know that everything is what's at stake.Read Article >
The company is coming back into the game with force, that much is clear. Its new touchscreen smartphone is the serious contender BlackBerry has been claiming it would be, packing in the specs, software prowess, and services to take on even the most entrenched players in the game. This isn't a feint or a half-step, it's a long bomb with all the blood, sweat, and tears behind it you would expect from a company that's lost a significant piece of its value (to say nothing of its market power) over the last handful of years. But there are those entrenched players, and consumers as well as enterprise customers have proved fickle in the face of changing technology. The fans have gone or are going â can the Z10 win them back?
Jan 30, 2013
RIM announced a sweeping overhaul of its online content offerings this week, and the new BlackBerry World storefront has just gone live. You're now able to see the selection of TV shows, movies, apps, music, and so on from the web store, giving a look at one aspect of what RIM will have to show the world at its make-or-break BlackBerry 10 unveiling later today.Read Article >
Pricing seems to be in line with other services, and RIM has already said that content updates will be timely — movies will hit the store at the same time as the DVD release, and TV shows will become available the day after they air in the UK and North America. If you're curious about this piece of the BlackBerry ecosystem puzzle, you can browse the store now.
RIM let us know months ago that BlackBerry 10's coming out party would be this Wednesday in New York City, but we haven't known when the heavily-leaked BlackBerry Z10, the first device to run the company's new operating system, would be going on sale. A Vodafone UK employee has sent us an internal communication from the carrier that confirms the device will be available to order online at 5PM local time on Wednesday, January 30th, and that phones will be in-stock at all store locations by the 31st.Read Article >
The Z10 is said to be Vodafone UK's first "4G Ready" device — it will work with the carrier's LTE network once it launches — and there will be a range of on-contract options that thankfully don't require signing up for a special BlackBerry SOC plan. If you're looking for no upfront cost, you'll be paying £47 per month for 3GB of data and unlimited talk and text for 24 months. The cheapest monthly option, meanwhile, is a £25 plan with an upfront cost of £229 that includes 100MB of data, unlimited texts, and 100 minutes of talk. If you're particularly smitten with the white version of the Z10 that we've seen, we're told that it won't be available until mid-February. We'll have more information, including launch plans in other regions, when RIM announces the device officially in a couple of days.
RIM said last week that it renamed its app store to BlackBerry World (from BlackBerry App World) as it intended to add music and video offerings to the service for BlackBerry 10. The Waterloo-based company has now given us details on what sort of selection the store will offer: it has released a full list of music labels and movie studios it has made deals with to distribute on the storefront. There's little information on pricing or payment options, but users will be able to rent or download shows and movies — though there won't be a subscription music option. The majority of movies, however, will be available on BlackBerry World the day they're released on DVD, and "many" current TV shows will be released the day after they air in the US, UK, and Canada. The company's music offerings will be available in 18 countries.Read Article >
RIM has managed to line up an impressive list of partners for the re-launch of BlackBerry World as a media and app store: all the major movie studios are on board, as are the major music labels in addition to some independents. The TV show selection, however, is currently light on cable channels like those from A&E Networks and Discovery. While it's not made clear in the release, it's presumed that the service will launch day-and-date with BlackBerry 10. We're sure to find out more this Wednesday at RIM's press conference in New York.
Jan 21, 2013
We're just over a week away from RIM's big BlackBerry 10 launch event, and leaks of the new devices and operating system are coming fast and furious. The latest leak to hit the internet is a batch of 100 screenshots of the new BlackBerry 10 platform, posted by BGR. The images detail everything from the setup of a new BlackBerry 10 device, to the settings menus, to the new home screens, to RIM's Siri-like voice control system. Unfortunately, the leaked images don't give us any more clues as to what unannounced apps will be available at launch, nor do they show us what it will be like to actually use the operating system once it's loaded with accounts and data.Read Article >
RIM's hosting a major, multi-city event on January 30th to finally unveil the new platform and its first devices to go along with it. It is expected to announced carrier partnerships and pricing as well, and all four major carriers in the US have already pledged to support the new platform once it is available. BGR's anonymous sources say pricing for the new devices will be lower than the usual $199 on-contract price that we see for most high-end smartphones these days, so it will be interesting to see how RIM decides to price the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Either way, we'll be there in full force to to cover RIM's big unveil.
Jan 21, 2013
RIM has today announced the rebranding of its BlackBerry App World as "BlackBerry World." With the new name comes an increased area of focus, specifically on music and video content, as previously teased last September. The beleaguered manufacturer made the change in preparation for the launch of its new OS, BlackBerry 10, later this month. It recently announced that it had amassed 15,000 BlackBerry 10 app submissions in just two days, and calls BlackBerry World "the one-stop shop for all of your mobile entertainment needs."Read Article >
Existing BlackBerry users will see the new store name within the next 24 hours. It's not clear what the music and video offerings will consist of, but RIM announced a partnership with former Spotify partner 7Digital for music downloads back in October last year. We'll be keeping a close eye on the store over the coming days to see how extensive the changes are.
Jan 15, 2013
The BlackBerry Z10, widely believed to be the name of RIM's first full-touch BlackBerry 10 device, hasn't yet been announced — that'll happen later this month at an event in New York on January 30th — but units and details are already leaking well in advance of that date. The latest comes from Austrian publication Telekom-Presse, which has posted a seven-and-a-half minute video of what appears to be the Z10's hardware and software in detail. RIM has been very deliberate in leaking a trickle of BlackBerry 10 details since its unveiling last year, but this video might represent the best single look yet and the entire platform.Read Article >
Jan 14, 2013
RIM will be facing an uphill battle when it does eventually launch BlackBerry 10, but the company is making sure it’ll have a healthy selection of apps from the get-go by incentivizing developers. RIM recently hosted two Port-a-Thon events to encourage developers to submit their games and general apps for BlackBerry 10, offering $100 for any app approved to the store. Naturally, the promise of cash seems to have worked: 15,000 apps were submitted over the course of 37.5 hours.Read Article >
Money wasn’t the only incentive, though, as BlackBerry hardware was also on offer. The first developers submitting between two and five approved apps were promised a free PlayBook, while those writing more than five approved apps were entered into a random draw to receive a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. It’s doubtful that every app will be approved for the store, but RIM needs as many submissions as possible if the company hopes for a successful launch.
Jan 11, 2013Read Article >
Earlier this week, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile all confirmed that they will carry BlackBerry 10 smartphones at some point this year, and now Sprint has also thrown its hat into the BlackBerry 10 ring. The carrier confirmed in a statement to The Verge that it "plans to bring BlackBerry 10 devices to our customers later this year." Unfortunately, Sprint didn't say exactly when that will be or how many BlackBerry 10 smartphones it will carry. RIM has a major event planned for January 30th in New York City where it is expected to make carrier and availability announcements for its new line of devices and we'll be there in person to cover all of the news.
Jan 10, 2013
Three weeks.Read Article >
That's how long until RIM officially launches its new BlackBerry 10 phones. One year ago, I explained why RIM had a long road to getting developers enthused enough to create apps for the new platform. The company has spent that year going down it, honing its developer message, offering $10,000 guarantees, posting insane videos to rally the troops, and launching zero BlackBerry 10 devices.
Dec 17, 2012Read Article >
In addition to the new launch news, RIM has also been seeding versions of the BlackBerry 10 software to its top enterprise and government customers to make sure that they are able to use the new platform and its related services when they are officially launched. Enterprise and government contracts are probably more important to RIM than any other company in the mobile space, so it's not a huge surprise that the company is making sure those customers are happy with the new platform first.
Nov 21, 2012
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has spent the past week on a media blitz, speaking to multiple outlets about his plans for the BlackBerry 10 launch on January 30th. RIM will be missing the important holiday shopping season with that launch date, so it's no surprise to see Heins making the rounds. The good news for RIM is that Heins is a relatively open and candid CEO — especially compared to his predecessors — and not afraid to drop a hint or two about the company's future plans.Read Article >
We sat down with Heins to discuss the current state of BB10 and RIM's plans for the launch, and we managed to gather a few of the aforementioned hints about ambitious plans for "mobile computing." RIM wants to do more than just survive in the smartphone space. Although the company is focused on a smartphone launch that Heins characterized as "a decisive point in the future of the company," if all goes well the CEO doesn't want to stop there.
At the BlackBerry Jam Americas even today, RIM announced that it will have apps from the big four social networks for BlackBerry 10 at launch: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn. The company demo'd the Facebook app, which was fully native on the platform, and it looked very similar to the iOS app — but it seems like it was developed by RIM itself instead of Facebook. Later in the keynote, Foursquare took the stage to demo its BlackBerry 10 app, which looks much more like a native BlackBery 10 app, complete with the "cards" and sliding panels that make up the Cascades framework. Foursquare said it took only "30 lines of code" to implement pull-to-refresh and also pointed out full BBM integration. RIM didn't demo Twitter or LinkedIn, but we did see our in BlackBerry 10 Beta 3 hands-on that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn messaging would all be built into RIM's unified messaging system, the BlackBerry Hub.Read Article >
RIM also demoed the new version of App World that would come on BlackBerry 10, including teasing music and video downloads. Those purchases can happen either via a BlackBerry ID or carrier billing, but exactly which companies RIM is partnering with to provide this content wasn't revealed. RIM says that it has surpassed 100,000 apps in App World. Both Facebook and App World looked as fast as everything else we've seen so far on BlackBerry 10. RIM announced that it would open up App World for developer submissions on October 10th — that's 10/10, the company was happy to point out.
Alongside the announcement of another BlackBerry 10 SDK for developers, RIM also announced that it has created a second developer device it's calling "BlackBerry Dev Alpha B." RIM tells us that it simply ran out of the five to six thousand devices it originally created for developers and so needed to create new ones.Read Article >
That's the official story, but there's another story hiding underneath the device's boxy exterior. Looking closely at the device, we can't help but notice that the outer casing is boxy and sits atop the glass screen of the device in an awkward way, with recessed sections for the buttons and ports. It seems obvious that what we are actually looking at is an alternate version of the L-Series "London" device that has long been rumored to be the first BlackBerry 10 launch device.
RIM has just unveiled the latest iteration of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, set to be released on new devices early next year. We have finally gotten a look at the UI RIM will be shipping, and it's an interesting mix of user interaction metaphors we've seen on multiple devices to this point and a strong progression from the version of the software we first saw back in May.Read Article >
We have separate a hands-on post with the Dev Alpha B hardware, but what you should know is that it's a simple black slab, a boxy, full-touch device that RIM said it had to make simply because it ran out of units of the original Dev Alpha. We strongly suspect something that RIM isn't saying: it looks likely that this is an alternate, boxy version of the L-Series "London" phone that will be its first BlackBerry 10 device.
Aug 15, 2012Read Article >
BlackBerry 10 is still months and months away, but the first devices are nearly finished and the time to build apps is now — and to that end, RIM has just informed developers that the new operating system will target two screen resolutions. We'd previously heard that RIM is building just two types of BlackBerry 10 device to start, and today we know how many pixels they'll use. While the very first device will have a 1280 x 768 screen, a la the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha, subsequent phones will differ. Full touchscreen devices will have a 1280 x 720 resolution (aka 720p, the popular 16:9 aspect ratio), and devices with the traditional portrait QWERTY keyboard will also have a traditional square screen at 720 x 720. If you've built apps for 1280 x 768 already, RIM suggests you letterbox at that resolution, removing the top and bottom 24 rows of pixels, or simply adjust for each resolution individually. Considering that we're now expecting up to six BlackBerry 10 devices, developers will be happy to know what to do to keep those apps compatible.
Aug 15, 2012
In a meeting Tuesday in New York, Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins along with other executives discussed —and demoed — the future of the company.Read Article >
It was a candid opportunity to hear Heins' plans for the future, discuss the challenges of the last few years, and see a first hand demo of the next iteration of BlackBerry phones. While the executives certainly have plenty of worries to focus on — like the fact that RIM stock prices have lost nearly 70 percent of their value in the last year — the lanky, impressively tall Heins was upbeat about the company's future. He believes RIM can begin to reclaim some of that lost marketshare in the US during 2013, and he seemed downright giddy about new technologies that users would see in upcoming devices.
Aug 13, 2012
In an interview with Bloomberg, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has said that the BlackBerry 10 platform, now in its final stages of testing, may end up being licensed. Heins said that the company was looking at how it could be used by other companies, comparing it to BlackBerry 10's underlying QNX software, which is used by multiple industries. "QNX is already licensed across the automotive sector — we could do that with BB10 if we chose to," he says. "The platform can be licensed." This statement is perhaps the most definitive of the many he's given in the past few months, especially because he apparently ties it to the ongoing testing and dispenses with claims that the team needs to "prove" BlackBerry 10.Read Article >
Heins also says that the struggling company hopes to expand beyond its current mobile focus to include automatic machine-to-machine communications or other forms of mobile computing. "Smartphones are a part of our business, but we’re looking way beyond this."
Aug 2, 2012
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says that his company may need to license BlackBerry 10 in order to make the platform competitive. Heins told The Telegraph that "we don’t have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year... To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than I can do it." Though he says RIM is still just investigating its options, it's apparently considering building and licensing a reference design, which could be called a BlackBerry or given another name while running the BlackBerry 10 OS.Read Article >
RIM has repeatedly brought up the possibility of licensing BlackBerry, especially as the company's financial situation has worsened. But Heins has previously remained vague, saying that the team needed to "prove" BlackBerry 10 before shopping it out to other manufacturers. And back in January, he asserted that licensing was not a priority. Though Heins is still effusive about his platform, calling BlackBerry 10 a "once in a decade change," it's looking more and more like it will need help to get off the ground.
Jul 20, 2012
Thanks to an update to the BlackBerry Dev Alpha software, developers can now submit BlackBerry 10 apps into BlackBerry App World. That will put them one step closer to earning the $10,000 RIM promised to every developer to builds a "certified" app for the platform. Once uploaded to the still-expanding store, other owners of a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device will be able to try out the app. The announcement comes alongside the release of the latest BlackBerry 10 SDKs, which includes new push APIs for BlackBerry WebWorks and Adobe Air developers. The BlackBerry Developer Blog also provides a roadmap that marks November as the month that the SDK will go gold, not long before the launch of the first BlackBerry 10 devices. Additional details about upcoming SDK releases will be available in the coming weeks.Read Article >
Jul 11, 2012Read Article >
The renders don't give away a lot of detail, but the device itself looks to be a standard touchscreen slab with no physical keyboard, and it matches previous images from a leaked presentation fairly closely. The Facebook app shows how it hooks into BlackBerry 10's sharing interface, and the app itself seems like it could have some additional functionality over other versions: you can select image upload quality, for example. It's difficult to place too much stock in the veracity of these images, especially considering BlackBerry 10's recent delay to early 2013, but the pieces could be slowly falling into place.
Jul 10, 2012
During RIM's annual shareholder conference today, CEO Thorsten Heins briefly confirmed that video chat support will be added to BlackBerry Messenger in the BlackBerry 10 platform debuting early next year. Screen shots from BlackBerry 10 — as leaked last month by CrackBerry — already suggested that video chat would play a prominent role in the company's next-gen communication suite, and now we've confirmed it. There's more, though, and Heins isn't tipping his entire hand; here's the full quote from him on BBM in response to a shareholder's question, which also emphasizes his desire to keep BBM as a BlackBerry exclusive:Read Article >
And here's the full audio of the somewhat contentious meeting, running around an hour and a half: