Thursday, January 31, 2013

BlackBerry smartphone launch excites tech world



BlackBerry on Wednesday launched BlackBerry Z10 smartphones in Nairobi, the same day the new model was unveiled in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai and Johannesburg.

According to the tech company, the re-designed LTE-enabled smartphones seek to offer users unique mobile computing experience through the BlackBerry® Z10 (all-touch) and BlackBerry® Q10 (touch with physical keyboard) handsets powered by BlackBerry 10 operating system.

 

 “Today sees a re-invented BlackBerry launching an entirely new mobile experience,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry. “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.”
Tech companies that are set to gain from the new smartphone platforms were at hand to laud the new products.
“At Foursquare, we are extremely excited to launch our new BlackBerry 10 application and to continue developing on the platform,” said Dennis Crowley, Co-Founder and CEO of Foursquare. “Our team built the app just for BlackBerry 10, and the result is an amazing Foursquare Explore experience to help people around the world make the most of where they are.”
And for the lovers of virtual games popular apps will also feature in the new smartphones, which have departed from earlier BlackBerry models that targeted business executives and corporates.
“We're delighted to bring Angry Birds Star Wars to BlackBerry fans around the world,” said Petri J√§rvilehto, EVP of Games, at Rovio. “It's a great platform that gives a fantastic gaming experience, so fans can experience the struggle of Rebel Birds vs. Imperial Pigs to the fullest!”
 Tim O'Brien, vice president of Business Development, Disney Games said: “Bringing Where's My Water? and Where's My Perry? to BlackBerry 10 smartphones will introduce some of Disney's most popular mobile games to new audiences. The new BlackBerry 10 platform is an exciting opportunity to expand Disney's network of mobile players."
Raj Gossain, vice president of product management, cloud collaboration applications technology group at Cisco, which offers WebEx technology to the BlackBerry 10 platform that lets users start, view content, and stay connected to meetings from the smartphones said: “RIM and Cisco have worked together to develop an application that is user friendly and meets the needs of our global customers.”
Microsoft too was not left behind in seeking a pie of the latest BlackBerry smartphone and plans to make Skype available for users of the mobile phones.
“We are working closely with BlackBerry to ensure Skype runs great on BlackBerry 10 devices. This will give users a great Skype experience, including free voice and video calling, sending instant messages and text messages, sharing photos, videos and files, and calling to landlines and mobiles at Skype’s low rates,” said said Bob Rosin, vice president and general manager of business development for Microsoft's Skype division.



According to the Press statement released on behalf of BlackBerry, the company highlighted the features of BlackBerry 10 platform terming it as "a robust and reliable platform that is smooth and responsive. It has a modern design and a gesture-based interface that is highly discoverable".
The tech company said the operating system is designed to support, learn, and adapt to the way users work and share with features like:
  • The ever present BlackBerry Hub, which is a single place to manage all your conversations whether personal or work email, BBM™ messages, social media updates or notifications, and the ability to “peek” into the BlackBerry Hub from anywhere, so you’re always only one swipe away from what matters to you.
  • BlackBerry Flow, where the BlackBerry 10 experience excels by enabling features and apps to flow seamlessly together, helping you complete the task at hand effortlessly and efficiently. For example, you can tap on an attendee listed for a meeting to see their latest tweet or LinkedIn profile. Or tap the thumbnail of a picture you just took to launch the Picture editor and quickly apply a transformation or filter, then instantly share it with your contacts.
  • A keyboard that understands and adapts to you, that learns what words you use and how you use them, then offers them up to you so you can type faster and more accurately.
  • BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), which allows you to share things with the people that matter to you in an instant. BBM in BlackBerry 10 includes voice calling and video chat, and introduces the ability to share your screen with another BlackBerry 10 contact.
  • BlackBerry Balance™ technology, which elegantly separates and secures work applications and data from personal content on BlackBerry devices.

  • Time Shift, an astonishing camera feature that lets you capture a group shot where everyone is smiling with their eyes wide open. Story Maker, which lets you bring a collection of photos and videos together, along with music and effects, to produce an HD movie that you can instantly share.   
  • The new BlackBerry 10 browser, which sets the industry benchmark for HTML5 support on smartphones, is incredibly fast. Scrolling or zooming is fluid and responsive. The browser includes many advanced features, supports multiple tabs, lets you browse sites privately, includes a reader mode, and integrates with the platform for easily sharing content.
  • BlackBerry® Remember, which combines memos, tasks and much more into a single experience. It helps you organize and manage information you have on your smartphone around projects or ideas, letting you collect content such as websites, emails, photos, documents, and other files, and then like a To-Do list, lets you create tasks, assign due dates, and track your progress. If your BlackBerry 10 smartphone is set up with a work account, your Microsoft® Outlook® Tasks will automatically be wirelessly synced with BlackBerry Remember.  If you have configured an Evernote account with your smartphone, BlackBerry Remember will sync Evernote workbooks as well.   
  • BlackBerry® Safeguard technology that helps protect what is important to you, and the business you work for.  

  • Built-in support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® so your BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10 smartphone can be simply connected and managed as other ActiveSync devices in a company, or enabled with BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 to gain secure access to work email, “behind the firewall” applications and data, and benefit from other security and enterprise mobility management features.
  • The BlackBerry® World™ storefront, which now includes 70,000 BlackBerry 10 apps and one of the most robust music and video catalogs in mobile today – with most movies coming to the store the same day they are released on DVD. In addition, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare apps for BlackBerry 10 are pre-installed, 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 BlackBerry 10 smartphones are elegant and distinctive, and the fastest, most advanced BlackBerry smartphones yet. They feature 1.5 Ghz dual core processors with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and an expandable memory card slot. They include the latest enhancements in high density pixel and screen technology to display clear, sharp, and incredibly vivid images. 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.

Models of the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 will be available from carriers to support their respective 4G LTE or HSPA+ networks, and all the available models include connectivity support for global roaming. The BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones will also each come in White and Black. For more information about the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones powered by BlackBerry 10 .

Charging solutions

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.

The smartphones will be available worldwide in several key market, the tech company said at the Wednesday launch.
In the UK, the BlackBerry Z10 will be available beginning 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 subsidised on competitive monthly pay contracts. Price points will vary according to carriers and retail partners.
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 three-year contract.
In the UAE, the BlackBerry Z10 will be available on February 10. Pricing will vary by carrier partner, but unsubsidised it will retail for AED 2,599.
In the US market, the company said availability with most carriers for the BlackBerry Z10 would be in March. It added that US carriers would announce pre-registration and price plans. "Many of our global partners have already launched or will be launching pre-registration and pre-order sites today. We expect the first global carriers to launch the BlackBerry Q10 in April. We will announce new pricing and availability information as carriers roll-out around the world," the company said in a statement.
The launch seems to have received rev reviews across the world following its re-branding and launch of new smartphones to compete for global market share with tech giants like Apple and Samsung whose popular products sent BlackBerry back to the drawing board.
David Phelan of The Independent who said that BlackBerry had upped the game in smartphones market with the new devices.
"The much-awaited launch of new handsets and software marks an exciting time for BlackBerry. At a stroke it gives the manufacturer (formerly known as RIM but now also freshened up) hardware and software that is industry-leading, not to mention excitingly different from the competition," he comments in his review on Wednesday.
However, it remains to be seen how the BlackBerry's new smartphones will be received across the world dominated by Apple and Samsung tech devices.

Parting shot



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