BlackBerry chief executive and president Thorsten Heins in
a live broadcast from a launch event in New York as he
holds the new smartphones, Q10 and Z10. Photo by Reuters.
The much-anticipated new range of BlackBerry smartphones
was released yesterday after long delays which allowed devices
made by Apple and Samsung to build substantial leads in a
However, it could be a long wait before the devices come to
BlackBerry, known as Research in Motion (RIM) until
yesterday, released the Z10 and Q10 without much detail but
early reviews on overseas websites provided some details.
According to Verge, which gave the Z10 a score of seven on a
10-point scale, the phone had a 10.5cm screen with a 1280 by
728 pixel resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2
gigabytes of RAM and 16GB of storage. The Z10 will have only
touch-screen keyboard, like Apple's trend-setting iPhone and
other handsets running on Google's Android software,
including Samsung's popular Galaxy.
Less was known about the Q10. BlackBerry did not reveal much
about that phone other than it had a physical qwerty
Among the few features the company did demonstrate was one
called the BlackBerry Hub, which streamed every message a
user might want to see into one screen that could easily be
accessed. Those messages included texts, emails and messages
on social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter.
BlackBerry unveiled its long-awaited line-up of revamped
smartphones and software at simultaneous events in New York,
Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, Johannesburg, Jakarta and
They will run on a redesigned operating system called
BlackBerry 10, which the company began working on after
buying QNX Software Systems in 2010.
The new software and devices were supposed to be released a
year ago but were delayed. In the meantime, Apple and Android
device makers won more zealous converts to their products.
Microsoft also rolled out a new Windows operating system for
smartphones giving RIM another technology powerhouse to
battle. The delays helped wipe out $US70 billion ($NZ83.3
billion) in shareholder wealth and 5000 jobs.
''It is the most challenging year of my career,'' BlackBerry
chief executive Thorsten Heins, whose anniversary leading the
company occurred last week, said.
''It is also the most exhilarating and exciting one.''
The wait for US smartphone users interested in buying the new
BlackBerry line was not over, AP reported. The Z10 would not
be released in the US until March and the Q10 might not
arrive in the country until April, to give wireless carriers
more time to test the product. The estimated US prices for
the phones were not announced either.
The Z10, which BlackBerry will call the ''Zed-10'' outside
the US, will go on sale in the United Kingdom next week. The
same model will be released in Canada next week and will cost
about $US150 there with a three-year contract. No details
about a New Zealand release date were available.
BGC Financial analyst Colin Gills said the new phones' tardy
arrival to the US threatened to cause even more BlackBerry
users to defect to the iPhone or an Android device.