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January 30th 2013 4:25 pm

BlackBerry 10 and Z10 Phone Announcement

RIM had their (much delayed) announcement for the new version of their OS and new flagship phones this morning (tremolo.edgesuite.net­/blackberry­_experience­_launch... - skip it, just watch the videos below). There are probably a lot of users who either think this is what's gonna save RIM (err, BlackBerry now) and others who think this just re-affirms BlackBerry's done for. No one had posted a discussion for it yet, so I thought I'd start things off.

Z10 Phone
I like the design of the Z10; Droid X-like face, edge to edge glass, iPhone 5-like sides, solid (professional looking) black, good shape. Finally a modern-looking keyboard-less phone from BlackBerry. BlackBerry 10
Very smooth animations in the OS, and I'm big fan of the webOS-like gestures (Flow & Peek): www.youtube.com­/watch­?v­=­-LDay0QmFgM. It's smart they're focusing on features that make them unique;Nice to see large-screen native apps from 20-30 of the big social, gaming, and business app makers: www.youtube.com­/watch­?v­=BWu6Y4JrbO4. As someone who receives the BlackBerry developer emails, it's obvious they're pushing hard to get more on the platform, but there will always be far less than on iOS/Android.

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I have to say, they're really playing right, following every step in the book they possibly could to succeed.
  1. They kept everything that people really liked about the phone and even improved on a lot of it.
  2. They adopted a lot of the things available in all the successful platforms.
  3. Very visually appealing design.
  4. CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT! It means a lot spent on marketing and aiming to get people to hear about the new platform to try and attract old customers back and maybe even new ones.
  5. Lots of aim on being a unique platform, unlike most Android manufacturers who barely differentiate themselves others other than the UI.

I really think it has the potential to succeed if they manage to attract the developers fast enough and have a decent offering at the time of the launch.
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I wish HP would've thrown this same effort into Palm. I've never been a Blackberry fan in any volume but I hope this injects some new found life into them.
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Similarly, I keep dreaming of HTC doing something like this before they go bankrupt! No one knows about them except for the techiest of techies, and those people hate HTC for reasons only applicable to them (for more info on this, read through the XDA Portal).
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Do I have to change my resume to reflect the new company name?

Haha jokes aside, i thought the screenshare feature is pretty good. The phone is quite nice, and I know some people will hate me for saying this, but the browser also supports flash which may be a key factor to some people.

That being said, after recently shelving my BB 9790 for a Nexus 4

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You've been a long time Blackberry user, right? Does this new device tempt you?
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I have waffled between Android phones and BlackBerrys and although I am currently happy with my nexus 4, I am tempted by the Z10 and Q10 both a bit. But to be fair, after advising my girlfriend to go Windows Phone 8, I am also very tempted by that (and her phone) if I wasn't such a heavy Google apps user.

Things I actually miss about the BlackBerry devices include proper battery life, a powerful vibrate motor (cause the nexus is just too damn weak for me to tell). Of course I miss the keyboard as well, and folks I still know in the BlackBerry camp that still swear by physical keyboards have said the Z10 keyboard is the best on screen one I have seen.

I don't miss the way notifications were handled in BB OS 4.1-7.1 and I am not sure peek and flow are my preferred solution to it. However I would want to try it before I dismiss it. I feel like ice cream sandwich and jellybean ruined me on those.

I really hope next week I can find a carrier with a demo unit to take a peek at.

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I have been thinking a bit more on this subject and wanted to add a few points,

1. I am really glad that BlackBerry 10 no longer requires a BIS plan. They were a pain in the ass to get one (and I do have one). This will mean people can switch without modifying their current plan. They also don't have to pay more (if applicable)

2. I am still not sold on the square screen of the Q10: gdgt.com­/discuss­/rim­-please­-don­-t­-release­-a­-phone­-...

3. There has been a bit of a kerfuffle about the Z10 pricing up here, and I am not sure how this will affect the sales of the phone. For all purposes, the phone is at a $139 price point for all the carriers up here (standard 3 year contract). However Rogers has a "winter white" promotion where white phones are "up to $100 off" (www.rogers.com­/web­/content­/wireless­-campaign­-q4­-20... )

The white BlackBerry Z10 is at the front of the picture, but it is not actually mentioned in the deal's fine print as having any savings. Some people were expecting the white version to launch at a $39 price point because of this promotion. Now Rogers' facebook page is saying the white Z10 will be $10 off at launch making it an effective $129, assuming you don't read their other social media posts saying the Z10 is not eligible for the promotion.

So the phone launches here in 2 days, and some people are bitter over what the white model will cost on one of our 3 carriers. Not a huge deal, but still significant.

4. BlackBerry used to advertise their great data compression. This was because all their data was routed through their own Network Operating Center (NOC). However, since users no longer have a BIS plan (see #1), I can only assume the data is not travelling through Waterloo and instead completely in the carrier's hands. So I am thinking this compression is an artifact of the past (unless their BES service will still do it)
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This morning a CIBC analyst said over 50% of the BlackBerry Z10 preorders were from non BB users. That (if true) is phenomenal for the sheer amount of people switching.


BlackBerry stock also rose 15% today after the Canadian launch of the phone. Very interesting
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The launch seems to be a huge deal here in the Middle East as well. Heavy marketing with every carrier around here. Almost as big a deal as the iPhone 5 and SGS3 launches!
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I agree on the marketing front. I have never seen BlackBerry be so competitive. They have radio and television ads that are playing at prime times (drive to work, evening television)

In stores here, they are even getting head to head displays to outgun the iPhone. They are paying for premium space at carriers, and in stores like walmart

I took this shot tonight to demonstrate.

I'll also just say, the iPhone is under glass, and the Z10 is all hands on. Of course at an Apple store and other places one can handle iPhones
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BlackBerry is an addiction and I'll stick to bb forever. And bb10 is brilliant and gives me a strong reason why I should not shift to funky looking ios and girly android.
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The virtual keyboard and it's resemblance to their physical keyboards was a nice touch IMO. I think they made huge strides here but I kind of feel like they left too much of the old RIM/BB in the OS (the fonts and icons mainly). The Q10 is kind of cool though.
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All that space on the phone, and no buttons... I don't like that..
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Like Ubuntu for Phones, this OS provides gestures that replace buttons in a much richer and more powerful way. Android tries to do the same, but they really just turned the buttons into virtual buttons! >.
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It's good to see that they have caught up with the rest of the world. This is certainly great for the BB die hards, but in general it's extremely late.

Most people got Blackberrys either from work or with a BOGO deal thru their carrier. The latter has since changed to Android and the former simply doesn't happen anymore.

Having a favorable review could entice people to develop for BB once again, so better late than never. I do, however, certainly hate the BB ads with a passion. I hope they don't try more of that nonsense. Lawyers in charge of stopping false advertising were any good we wouldn't have to sit thru any more BB or Sprint ads among other garbage.
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