Research In Motion today unveiled its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system and BlackBerry Z10 device , a launch that the company hopes will bring the company back to the forefront of the smartphone market.
With promoted tweets (the image above came from one) and a big event, the company has also announced that it will be known as BlackBerry forever more (RIP RIM) and Alicia Keys will serve as global creative director for the company. The new name comes with new tickers on the NASDAQ (BBRY) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (BB).
The BlackBerry Z10 will run the new operating system, which, ABC News says, will be available in the US in March starting at $199 with a contract (available at AT&T and other carriers). The price will be $599 It does away with the now-iconic BlackBerry keyboard. ABC says, “It’s not a beautiful or elegant phone, but it’s well-made and comfortable to hold.”
There’s also a Blackberry Q10 model that hangs on to the QWERTY keyboard. It will be available around the world starting in April, according to The Chicago Tribune.
“BlackBerry 10 devices are absolutely the best typing experience in the industry. Period,” Mashable quotes Thorsten Heins, CEO of Mashable.
Like bestselling Android and iPhones before it, the key to this phone are the apps. The company just recently announced that it has changed the name of its app store to BlackBerry World, which the company has said will emphasize music and video content.
The article goes on to say that the phone requires some guidance to figure out how to use it (not good) and doesn’t take pictures quite as well as the competition (also not good). Mashable also goes into some detail about all the features and benefits. And you can get more detail about that from the press release announcing the new phone.
Also not positive, Forbes reports that shares of the company dropped on news that people will have to wait for the phone to be available. (The phone will be available sooner in the UK, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates.)
“In the case of BlackBerry, the early commenters have mostly good things to say about the software and the phones, but there also remains widespread skepticism that the phones are revolutionary enough to stop the erosion of the company’s user base, let alone lure current users of Apple and Samsung phones,” writes Forbes’ Eric Savitz.
So folks… will you be converted by this new BlackBerry?