After years of watching users ditch its once-popular BlackBerry devices for more modern smartphones, RIM has decided to make one last effort to regain some of its former glory – and market share. The company has changed its name (now BlackBerry, Inc.) and its strategy, this morning announcing the first true BlackBerry smartphone: the Z10.
Question is: is it too late?
The BlackBerry Z10 bears little resemblance to its messenger-class predecessors. With a 4.2-inch touchscreen, rounded corners and flat sides, it’s difficult to escape comparisons with current iPhones – at least in terms of design. The Z10 is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor with 2GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi, LTE, NFC, and 8MP/2MP cameras.
The BlackBerry 10 OS that drives the Z10 has been completely rewritten, and is heavily dependent on touch gestures to get the user from function to function. Engadget has posted a fairly extensive review of BB10, which is a must-read if you want to better understand the direction the OS has taken.
It doesn’t appear that the Z10 has any must-have features that would make a significant number of iPhone or Android users make the switch, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens when the new device is released in a few weeks. It will be available from the four major U.S. carriers, with LTE support from all but T-Mobile. Price with two-year contract will be around $200.
Watch the BlackBerry 10 & Z10 launch event video.
Today RIM announced the BlackBerry PlayBook, the first tablet device from the Canadian-based wireless company. Here are the bullet points:
- 7" LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen w/ multi-touch and gesture support.
- BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
- 1 GHz dual-core processor
- 1 GB RAM
- Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), 1080p HD video recording
- Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
- Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
- HDMI video output
- Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
- Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
- Measures 5.1"x7.6"x0.4" (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
- Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
Looks pretty cool at first glance. Unfortunately, it won’t be out in the U.S. until “early 2011.”
Source: RIM Press Release
Today RIM and AT&T Mobility made the BlackBerry Torch 9800 official. The new smartphone – available for purchase August 12th for $200 with a two-year contract – is a slider, which is a new direction for RIM. The Torch will also be the first phone to run BlackBerry OS 6.
Noteworthy features include 4GB of internal flash storage, a 5MP camera, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 512MB of RAM, a 3.2-inch touchscreen display with a 480×360 resolution, and an optical trackpad.
The Pocket PC Central Accessories Center has been updated and now includes accessories for the BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone. Here you can find batteries, cases, sync cables, and other accessories for the Bold 9700.
NOTE: The AT&T and T-Mobile versions of the BlackBerry Bold were recently released. Model-specific accessories are currently limited. We will continue to update the accessories center with new products over the coming weeks.
Visit the Pocket PC Central BlackBerry Bold 9700 Accessories Center…
The newest member of RIM’s BlackBerry Bold family of smartphones is now available at T-Mobile.
The T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700 is similar to the 9000 in many ways, but the 9700 has a new touchpad interface, a 3MP camera, and Bluetooth v2.1.
Available today from T-Mobile, the RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 sells for $199 with a two-year service agreement or $449 without a contract under T-Mobile’s new Even More Plus, which offers an option to pay for the Bold over 20 months at $22 per month.
Learn more about the BlackBerry Bold 9700 from T-Mobile…
UPDATE: The AT&T version of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 will be released on November 22.