BlackBerry this week finally launched its long-awaited BB10 operating system, the re-designed, re-engineered, and re-invented BlackBerry platform, as well as two 4G/LTE smartphones based on the new OS. The next-gen platform promises to create a new and unique mobile computing experience that blends BlackBerry’s traditional strengths like secure email and speedy web browsing with rich multimedia and social capabilities.
“Today sees a re-invented BlackBerry launching an entirely new mobile experience. We are thrilled to be introducing BlackBerry 10 on the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones, to deliver a faster, smarter experience that continuously adapts to your needs. Every feature, every gesture, and every detail in BlackBerry 10 is designed to keep you moving,” said Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of BlackBerry.
BlackBerry 10 OS: Finally Here
BlackBerry 10 platform derives from QNX, a Unix-like real-time operating system, and is designed to make it extremely easy to access different types of information, whether it is business or personal. Thanks to its Unix and microkernel nature, the BB10 features robust multi-tasking that is not only very fast, but also power-efficient thanks to the fact that all the programs are run in the form of a number of small tasks, which allows to halt unnecessary tasks to improve performance and reduce power consumption.
Currently there are 70 thousand applications developed for BlackBerry 10 operating system. In addition, BlackBerry World sports one of the most robust music and video catalogs in mobile today. BB10 comes with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare apps for preinstalled, and BlackBerry 10 customers will have access to leading applications from across the globe. Leading application providers including Disney, Cisco, Foursquare, Skype and Rovio have committed to the platform.
The new BB10 has such usable features as:
- BlackBerry Hub, a single place to manage all conversations whether personal or work email, BBM messages, social media updates or notifications, and the ability to “peek” into the BlackBerry Hub from anywhere.
- BlackBerry Flow, which brings features and apps together.
- BlackBerry Balance technology, which separates and secures work applications and data from personal content on BlackBerry devices.
- BlackBerry Remember, which combines memos, tasks and much more into a single experience to help to organize and manage information on the smartphone around projects or ideas, letting one collect content such as websites, emails, photos, documents, and other files, and then create tasks, assign due dates, and track your progress.
- The all-new new BlackBerry 10 browser that supports HTML5 and promises to be incredibly fast. The browser includes many advanced features, supports multiple tabs, private browsing, includes a reader mode, and integrates with the platform for easily sharing content.
- New BB Messenger.
- Intelligent keyboard.
- Advanced camera application.
BlackBerry Introduces Z10 and Q10
BlackBerry also unveiled the first smartphones based on the BB10 platform: the Z10 with 4.2” multi-touch display with 1280*768 resolution (356 pixels per inch) and the Q10 with QWERTY keyboard and 3.1” display with 720*720 resolution.
The new elegant and distinctive BlackBerry 10 smartphones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 system-on-chip [dual-core Krait 1.50GHz cores with 1MB L2 cache, Adreno 225 graphics, dual-channel LPDDR2 memory controller, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, global 4G/LTE, HSPA+ and so on], 2GB of LPDDR2 memory, 16GB of NAND flash internal storage, 8MP cameras and an expandable memory card slot. Both feature a micro HDMI out port for presentations, and advanced sensors such NFC (near field communications) to support mobile payments and the exchange of information with a tap of the smartphone. They also have a removable battery.
The BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones will each come in white and black. Versions of BB10 smartphones sold outside the U.S. and Canada will feature Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 application processors with two ARM Cortex A9 and two ARM Cortex-M3 cores as well as PowerVR SGX544 3D graphics and Vivante 2D graphics engines.
A range of accessories for the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, including the new BlackBerry mini stereo speaker as well as a variety of carrying and charging solutions including a unique charger that provides on-the-go charging, will be available from select carriers and retailers.
Pricing and Availability
BlackBerry expects the first global carriers to launch the BlackBerry Q10 in April. The BlackBerry Z10 will be available shortly:
- In the U.S. market, BlackBerry expects availability with most carriers for the BlackBerry Z10 to be in March. Today, U.S. carriers will start announcing pre-registration and price plans.
- In Canada, the BlackBerry Z10 will be available on February 5th. Pricing will vary by carrier partner, but it will retail for around $149.99 on a 3 year contract.
- In the UK, the BlackBerry Z10 will be available beginning this week on pay monthly contracts and pre-pay plans from EE, O2, Vodafone, Phones 4u, BT, 3UK and the Carphone Warehouse. BlackBerry Z10 smartphones will be available fully subsidized on competitive monthly pay contracts. Price points will vary according to carriers and retail partners.
- In the UAE, the BlackBerry Z10 will be available on February 10th. Pricing will vary by carrier partner, but unsubsidized it will retail for AED 2599 ($707, €519).