Today, RIM announced its new BlackBerry 10 platform and Q10 and Z10 devices, and rebranded itself as BlackBerry. For the latest from the event, tune in to our liveblog, and get the latest updates below in a full Story Stream of all the essential news.
Mar 11, 2013
We can independently corroborate a report from AllThingsD this afternoon that Sprint does intend to carry a full-touch BlackBerry 10 phone in 2013 — but not until the second half the year. Our sources describe Sprint's model as "a version 2.0" of the Z10; a BlackBerry executive has previously said to expect "at least" six BlackBerry 10 models this year, so it's reasonable to think that one of those could be a refreshed version.Read Article >
While BlackBerry 10's ability to capture a meaningful percentage of the market will be an open question for some time to come, Sprint's decision not to carry the Z10 came as a surprise — AT&T and Verizon have both committed to selling both models, while T-Mobile is on tap for the Z10 and is widely rumored to be introducing the Q10.
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 8, 2013
We're still to hear official word about when the BlackBerry Z10 will launch in the US, but Bloomberg claims to have the details for one carrier, at least. According to two sources, AT&T will start selling the phone on March 22nd, though BlackBerry said it wouldn't comment on the rumor.Read Article >
Verizon and T-Mobile are also set to offer the Z10 at some point, but Sprint will only carry the hardware keyboard-equipped Q10. While Bloomberg didn't mention a price for the Z10 on AT&T, Verizon has already said it will sell for $199.99 with a new contract. If you're still making your mind up about BlackBerry's do-or-die play for relevance in the US market, you can read our review of the Z10 here.
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 31, 2013
BlackBerry’s new Z10 handset is going on sale in the UK today at Vodafone, O2, EE, Orange, T-Mobile, Carphone Warehouse, and Phones 4u. Pricing for the Z10 varies from carrier to carrier. O2 is offering the phone for free from £36 per month, while Vodafone is charging £69 on a £37 per month contract (or for free from £47 per month). EE — currently the UK's only LTE network — is typically pricey, charging £49.99 on a £41 per month contact. Orange and T-Mobile offer the phone for £29.99 and £49.99, respectively, on a £36 per month contract. Three UK has yet to announce pricing for the Z10, but has confirmed it will offer the device at some point.Read Article >
Phones 4u offers deals from all the UK's major carriers, and also has an exclusive — until February 18th — on the white version of the Z10. The company is also giving the first 250 Z10 buyers a free 64GB PlayBook. We know what you’re thinking — "I already have so many PlayBooks!" — but if you're going to jump into BlackBerry's fledgling ecosystem, you may as well go all out. If you're looking to pick up the Z10 without a contract, Carphone Warehouse is currently selling it for £479.95.
Jan 30, 2013
Step, if you will, into the shoes of Thorsten Heins. Your company is on the defensive, struggling for third place in one of the most bloodthirsty marketplaces there is. You've got just a few more chances to show consumers you're worth their money. Your back is to the wall. What do you do?Read Article >
The answer, as we learned this morning, is to hire Alicia Keys as your new creative director. That's not all they did, of course. (There were a few new phones, if we recall correctly.) But the choice reveals a lot about where BlackBerry is as a company, and it's not good news.
Jan 30, 2013
One of the surprising stories from today's BlackBerry 10 launch was just how many apps the newly-renamed company landed: over 70,000. More importantly, it managed to snag important, big-name apps like WhatsApp and Skype. It's an essential metric for BlackBerry — a lack of apps hobbled Windows Phone out of the gate and continues to keep users from switching. The story of how BlackBerry got the support of so many large development houses is a mix of tenacity, courtship, and perhaps a little bit of muscle. As good as that story may be for BlackBerry's developer relations team, there's still one app in particular that is usually name-dropped when discussing whether a platform truly has the apps it needs for a successful launch: Instagram.Read Article >
The Verge has seen a version of Instagram running on a BlackBerry Z10, and it looked very much like Instagram on Android — in fact, it likely was the Android version of the app running on the custom runtime that BlackBerry created. Speaking to reporters at today's event, VP of Global Alliances and Business Development, Martyn Mallick told reporters that BlackBerry was "in talks" with both Instagram and Netflix to launch on BlackBerry 10. Those talks are ongoing. Presumably that will still happen, and in Instagram's case the key decision will be whether the Android experience will be good enough or if it should be switched to a fully-native app. In our review of the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry 10, we saw that Android apps don't feel native or work especially well on the platform.
Jan 30, 2013
As such, we're not being shown any of the applications that are purported to be optimized for this 720 x 720 square display. The performance was a smooth as what we saw with the BlackBerry Z10 and the keyboard is reminiscent of the BlackBerry Bold — "clicky" in just the right ways, but again, we can't really use it too much at the moment. The back of the device is as Thorsten Heins described: it has a rubbery, soft-touch feel even though it has that oh-so-popular carbon fiber weave design. We got to take the cover off of the back and take a peak at the removable battery — sure to please business users — but representatives didn't want us to take many photos underneath there. We should have more on the Q10 soon, so check back later.Read Article >
Dante D'Orazio contributed to this report.
Jan 30, 2013
BlackBerry has announced a new position, Global Creative Director, and hired its own in-house celebrity to fill the role: Alicia Keys. Keys was apparently chosen for renewing her "long-term relationship" with BlackBerry after straying during its bling-less doldrums, as she illustrated with a long anecdote about her romance with the newly "fly" platform. Though Keys says she'll be working closely with BlackBerry developers and is "fascinated by technology," her role is more similar to that of another celebrity: Will.i.am, who was previously named Director of Creative Innovation of Intel. All in all, it's quite the turnaround from calling herself an "iPhone junky" last year — how the heart does wander.Read Article >
BlackBerry is also trying to pull in some other big names: Neil Gaiman and Robert Rodriguez (referred to as the "world's most inspirational people") will be using the platform for a film and art/storytelling project, respectively. We're not quite sure yet what that will mean in practice — though BlackBerry's been pushing its typing chops pretty hard, so making somebody write a novel on their phone isn't out of the question. Keys, meanwhile, will be taking the BlackBerry on tour and will use it to create a music video for every city she visits. All these projects will involve collaborating with new BlackBerry 10 adopters, throwing some potential celebrity interaction in to sweeten the deal for anybody who's on the fence.
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?
BlackBerry shows off some of its 70,000 new third-party apps, including Skype, Rdio, Kindle, and WhatsappRead Article >
Onscreen during RIM's presentation, we saw Skype and Where's My Water, and BlackBerry just announced Kindle support as well. There's also a notes and tasks app called Reminder which is a first-party BlackBerry offering — but it comes with Evernote integration. Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MLB At Bat, and ESPN Scorecenter are also all ready to go as of today. Particularly noteworthy is the integration of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter directly into the OS. It's also worth noting that Facebook and Twitter were built by BlackBerry and third-party developers, but we don't think that the end user will mind as long as the experience is up to par.
Jan 30, 2013Read Article >
We don't know much about the specs of the Q10, except that it has a "glass weave cover on the back" that Heins said is "thinner, lighter, and stronger than plastic." The phone will be available in April around the world, but for now specific pricing and carrier information is hard to come by — though the Z10's widespread support is a good sign if you're looking to get your hands on BlackBerry's keyboarded beauty.
Jan 30, 2013
BlackBerry (formerly known as Research in Motion) has officially announced its first BlackBerry 10 device: the Z10. It could be one of BlackBerry's worst kept secrets — we've already seen the Z10 and the new OS leaked from plenty of angles — but the speculation and waiting is finally over. The Z10 is the company's first full-touch smartphone running the company's new operating system. The Wall Street Journal reports that the device will launch mid-March in the US, though individual carriers haven't yet confirmed specific release dates. (BlackBerry said that the four major US carriers will make announcements sometime today.) Verizon and T-Mobile have confirmed that they will offer the Z10, but only Verizon has confirmed a price so far: $199.99 on a two-year contract. The Z10 will launch on January 31st in the UK, February 5th in Canada, and US carriers will announce release plans in the next few weeks.Read Article >
The BlackBerry Z10 will be offered in black and white models — Verizon says the white model is an exclusive on its network. On the inside, the phone has a dual-core CPU at 1.5GHz (though BlackBerry hasn't said which processor it's using), 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage — which can be expanded to 48GB using microSD. The device has a rear-facing 8 megapixel camera capable of 1080p video capture and a front-facing 2 megapixel camera capable of 720p video. BlackBerry specifically touted its new 4.2-inch display during the Z10's reveal today: a 1280 x 768, 356ppi LCD screen.
BlackBerry has just uploaded a video interview with CMO Frank Boulben that lends more insight into the name change, which we've embedded below.Read Article >