BlackBerry unveils new smartphones

RIM Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins introduces the BlackBerry 10 in New York. (AP)

RIM Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins introduces one of the new BlackBerry 10s in New York. The other is a full touch-screen model. (AP)

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BlackBerry on Wednesday unveiled a new line of smartphones that have many of the features consumers have come to expect in the devices, such as touch screens, apps and multimedia. The question is, has BlackBerry already missed the boat?

The once gold standard for mobile phones has fallen on hard times, forcing Research In Motion, the Canadian company behind the BlackBerry, to slash jobs and other costs as sales plummeted, while at the same time come up with a device that consumers will buy.

That new device is the BlackBerry 10. RIM is promising more speed, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone.

Initially there will be two variations of the BlackBerry 10: One, the Z10, features a touch screen and the other, the Q10, has a combined smaller touch screen and keyboard. Among the other features: BlackBerry Balance separates work and personal apps on the phone as two different profiles; BlackBerry Messenger has video calling capabilities. The devices are powered by the BlackBerry operating system.

BlackBerry 10 will launch with 70,000 apps, which pales in comparison to the 700,000-plus apps for the iPhone and Android-based phones.

CNN reports the Z10 will hit the market first in the United Kingdom on Thursday, then in Canada on Feb. 5, and the United Arab Emirates a week later. U.S. consumers won’t be able to buy the new phone until sometime in March.

According to Forbes, RIM’s global smartphone market share is down to roughly 6 percent from a peak of 20 percent just three years ago. Businesses and governments have moved away from supplying their staffers the BlackBerry, opting instead for the iPhone and other devices.

As it pulls out all the stops to roll out its new device, RIM is even changing its name to “BlackBerry.”

Will you give the BlackBerry a second look?

30 comments Add your comment

Alex

January 30th, 2013
11:31 am

What’s a BlackBerry? Oh are those the phones with the weird scroll ball that executives used to use to look important before Apple rolled out the iPhone?

fan of the abnormal

January 30th, 2013
11:47 am

when i worked for a law firm that was more concerned about money than justice they gave me one of those hideous devices. Yes, its good for email but every time I see one the horrors of the experience with that particular firm come back to me & the thing is really only good for people who get voluminous emails….or CEO’s & Micromanagers.

Jenn

January 30th, 2013
11:48 am

Sorry, gave up my blackberry two years ago for an Android phone and I am never looking back. Like being able to access all of my info from phone, ipad/tablet, or a desktop without skipping a beat. I never had access to all of the cool apps my friends and family had when I had the BB. Sorry BB, I am done.

Reverie

January 30th, 2013
11:49 am

I’ll look but based upon the photograph accompanying this article, I doubt I will seriously consider the Blackberry. It appears the screen is too small to really do very much. While the keyboard is a nice touch, most people have managed to if not master, at least operate a touch screen. The itty-bitty display real estate is a non-starter for most people and almost all people under 30. The other model, without the physical keyboard would garner some interest from me but i doubt applications are going to differentiate between the keyboard and non-keyboard versions and make use of the increased dimensions. The Blackberry apps will be a hard sell.

Clubber Lang

January 30th, 2013
11:54 am

LydiasDad

January 30th, 2013
11:56 am

Is Thorsten Heins a man or a woman?

Joe

January 30th, 2013
12:45 pm

It’s the best thing to happen. The iphone….well would not buy that piece of junk again, Samsungs Galaxy great phone but does not cut it for business. My 3 year old blackberry that I am holdingonto for another week, best thing to use. If you are looking for a toy yes the iphone is for you. If you want a machine, Blackberry is still quality.

david

January 30th, 2013
12:49 pm

What Blackberry ready screwed up was the developers cost for apps. It was much higher then Apple or droid. The trackball and the touchpad for the blackberry wear out after a year, You could replace the touch pad so I had to change phones. I still liked the real keyboard compared to a touch screen pad. I really don’t like the Iphone, so I will get a droid later in the year..

ATL_Native

January 30th, 2013
1:08 pm

ECOSYSTEM – it’s all about the ecosystem… the apps and accessories for the devices. Since their models are few they have that Apple-like advantage for accessories but without the same apps that are making Android & IOS popluar it’s a guaranteed fail.

That’s exactly why I left Windows Phone for Android… and my Blackberry I use at work never steals any of my personal time.

C-level exec

January 30th, 2013
1:09 pm

I’m happy they’re back with new devices!!! When it comes to seemless intergration into corporate enterprise networks, BB is the champ. It’s a professional tool not a consumer level toy like droid and apple devices. Windows phone is a not too close second.

The Truth Only

January 30th, 2013
1:44 pm

ABSOLUTELY!!!! Any business person will tell you that it is a pain to carry two separate phones (business and personal). If it is possible to have two separate identities on the same phone, I will buy this phone the SECOND it is available.
Buy RIM stock now, every business person with two phones will buy this phone! Completely innovative.

Ray

January 30th, 2013
1:45 pm

I think they should get out of the mobile device market completely. They have other products that are worthwhile in other markets, but not the smartphone market. I have a blackberry now since my old boss was a blackberry fan boy. I can’t wait to get rid of it. I would never spend money on an apple device, but even an iPhone would provide a better experience than this blackberry. I have an android tablet and will be upgrading to an android phone once this contract runs out.

ajcsux

January 30th, 2013
2:00 pm

no. i have a company issued blackberry, and I have all my email ported to the actual device i use, a droid.

Chris

January 30th, 2013
2:27 pm

Had a blackberry. HATED IT! Have an iphone now. LOVE IT! Wouldn’t even remotely consider another blackberry. I think blackberry has lost it. Big time FAIL!

Reverie

January 30th, 2013
2:41 pm

I use Traveler with my Android phone and never have any problems. My Blackberry did handle my email very well but nothing else. As for a Blackberry never stealing time, might I remind you that you possess free will. Phones, smart or otherwise are a tool. If a smartphone is too irresistible for you, maybe you lack concentration on the matters at hand. While my phone has the ability to do many things, mind control is not one of them.

she-boone

January 30th, 2013
2:54 pm

blackberrys make great door stoppers

Momma Was Right!!!

January 30th, 2013
2:59 pm

Is Thorsten Heins related to Dave Foley’s from The Kids in The Hall… they look familiar, those Canadians..lol

Tee

January 30th, 2013
3:31 pm

The battery in my Blackberry Curve completely died last weekend. The Sprint store couldn’t even get it to charge. I had the phone for less than 18 months. This has not happened with any other phones I’ve had. Don’t see buying another Blackberry in my future.

that guy

January 30th, 2013
4:07 pm

Tee, the battery is not made by RIM (Blackberry) so I wouldn’t blame RIM. It happens with any brand of phone…you just got a crappy battery unfortunately. Look at all the issues Boeing is having with batteries right now :)

Tag

January 30th, 2013
4:08 pm

People “Get a Life”

Mine skipped four times

January 30th, 2013
4:14 pm

I run my own aviation firm, have used my iPhone to do most of what I need since I shed my email only
DingleBerry four years ago. The ‘Berry skipped four times across Lake Burton from my boathouse dock! RIM ( née Blackberry), Eastern Airlines, Shakeys Pizza, Wolf Camera…just a few companies that we’ll ‘remember when’ .

Abe

January 30th, 2013
4:19 pm

I’ve used a BlackBerry for several years with zero issues. I will continue to use a BlackBerry. My BlackBerry has been very dependable and does exactly what I need a phone to do. I tried other smartphones too but really prefer the BlackBerry.

I’m ready for a new phone and plan on buying the new version of BlackBerry as soon as its released in the US.
I’m excited to see the new version and feel certain it will be great!

Horsetoothedjackass

January 30th, 2013
4:31 pm

BlackBerry by choice. Androids are garbage and because of the open source nature of the operating system, the most likely to be targeted for viruses and malware. The operating systems for the iPhone and BlackBerry are less likely to be targeted because of their closed systems.

I’m planning on getting a Z10, but I’m miffed that the carriers here in the US are being so slow to roll out the Z10. If it was the latest device from Samsung, Apple or HTC, they’d have it in stock almost immediately.

BB

January 30th, 2013
5:01 pm

I have a real life, so I don’t need apps.

T Bone

January 30th, 2013
6:33 pm

Blackberry for life for me!! It does what I need it to do, Sorry don’t need to watch TV on a 4 inch screen or play games. Just give me a good GPS (Blackberry trafic) and secure email and text…almost forgot, I have to be able to make a phone call and I’m set. These new phones when they are advertised on TV you see them doing everything else but make a phone call. Kind of defeats the purpose of calling it a cell phone.

RIM RIP

January 30th, 2013
6:33 pm

Blackberryers have criticized iPhones for years saying their toys and not to be taken seriously. All the while Apple has taken a dominant position in the smartphone market while RIM circles the drain. These are precisely the people you don’t want working for your compant because they’ll make bad decisions and support them to the end. RIM will be out of business in 5 years.

repurc

January 30th, 2013
6:46 pm

The newly released Z10 has spectacular specs with some cool features..Its too early to comment anything negatively about them.

g8282

January 31st, 2013
11:21 am

I’ve used apple, android, and blackberry, and my preference is for blackberry! Others who have used all 3 may have a different view but that’s OK. We can all get along :-)

Blackberry for the serious

January 31st, 2013
12:44 pm

My wife has the Samsung Galaxy III, my daughter the SG II; I have the Blackberry 9900 which has the touchscreen and reasonably fast internet when I need it. My Blackberry is like having a computer when I travel and I have used it for that. I hate texting on an iPhone or any of the Androids. I want the keys to touch and I’m good to go. My family is happy, sharing photos and using their phones like a tablet which is OK. I don’t do that much but need my minicomputer (Blackberry) for business and personal. I would like to be able to split my business contacts from my personal. Hopefully the new BB will do that.

Phil I. Buster

January 31st, 2013
4:57 pm

The problem they will have is getting traction in the corporate market. Microsoft has a component that can allow most any smart phone to access a corporate Exchange email server to sync email, calendar, & contacts. This does away with the need to purchase and maintain a separate Blackberry server and the clunky integration to Exchange. I had to administer one of those once and I vowed to never do it again. I cringe when I recall all those whiny little babies coming into my office crying about how their phone will not sync.