Research in Motion held a huge press conference today in which they announced a) the company’s new name is just ‘Blackberry’, not Research in Motion, b) a pair of two new great looking smartphones and c) a huge update to the Blackberry touchscreen OS, which also looks really nice. But is it enough? Blackberry is betting the farm on this, and they really don’t have much of a choice.
The two new phones are the Blackberry Z10, which is a full touchscreen phone with not a single button and the Blackberry Q10, which is a touchscreen/QWERTY phone. The phones launch tomorrow in the UK, in February in Canada and “sometime in March” in the US.
The Z10 has a 4.2 inch 1280 x 768 356PPI screen (same resolution as the Lumia 920), a textured back, comes in black and white, and it looks a lot like the renders that we’ve seen to this point. It’s got a 1.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (microSD storage up to a 32GB card), NFC, and LTE. The camera is 8MP and shoots at 1080p, but those are standard specs and the quality of one 8MP camera phone to another varies wildly. Front-facing is a 2MP with video capabilities.
Thorsten Heins also said that to avoid fragmentation, the resolutions of the Z10 and Q10 would not be changed going forward. All BlackBerry phones for the foreseeable future will have the same two resolutions.
The Z10 will be on AT&T and Verizon. The price will be $200, on a THREE YEAR CONTRACT. That is a big deal, as more people are drifting toward pre-paid plans, and since three years on a phone contract is basically unheard of.
T-Mobile and Sprint will also be involved with BB10, but we’re not certain which phones they will have.
Blackberry also launched the Blackberry World app store, which right now is looking pretty pathetic, despite its claim of 70,000 apps. Seventy thousand apps doesn’t mean good apps. One quick glance, and the top apps the company are pushing are things like Angry Birds, Chess, a currency converter and a flashlight app. Ooooooh impressive.
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