Blackberry (company renamed from former name RIM) launched two versions of the phone on 30 January 2013, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10. The Z10 is a touchscreen device, the Q10 is a physical keyboard Blackberry.
In Canada, the touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 will be available on Feb. 5. Pricing will vary by carrier, but it will retail for around $149.99 with a three-year contract.
The Q10 will be available some time after that, but pricing and availability information on that keyboard version wasn't immediately provided at the launch event. This appears to be a strategic play because Blackberry wants to push their touch screen keyboard which is more flexible and some cool new features that a physical keyboard cannot offer-- such as keyboard gestures.
Canada will be the launch pad for the devices ahead of other markets, including the United States. This is impressive and shows their commitment to Canada and grounds the launch in Canada.
Other countries have launch dates of Feb. 11, 2013. The U.S. launch date will be at some time after that.
Among the features on the devices are something the company is calling BlackBerry Balance, which will allow one machine to be switched between work and personal user accounts.
The company is pitching the technology as a way for consumers to be able to have only one device with multiple personas — a personal one full of apps and tools for personal use, and a corporate one that can safely house sensitive corporate material.
Another feature is BlackBerry Flow, a technology that will allow the user to swipe between multiple apps with the touch of a finger. That's something the current round of BlackBerry phones haven't been able to do, but it's seen as key in the multitasking environment.
Blackberry also revealed another detail: BlackBerry 10 models will have the ability to do predictive text in up to three languages. The user can pick and choose which languages in the device's settings.
Blackberry has also revamped its web browser to the point where it competes and even surpasses those available on iPhones, Android or Windows phones.
BB10 has the BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging technology that helped make BlackBerrys so popular in the first place. BlackBerry Messenger now has video support with their sharp new device camera. Video chat is carried over their secure BBM network.
BlackBerry Messenger can also share another device screen and show it to another user in real time. This is a great feature of sharing a device experience with someone else.
The company has redesigned its app store and called it BlackBerry World, which will have more than 70,000 applications at launch. This is about one tenth of what's available in Apple's App Store, or on Google Play. It's a step toward bridging the gap and Blackberry gets A for effort.
Recording artist Alicia Keys has signed on to be what the company is calling a "Global She says she's going to use the device to make unique music videos of the concerts in every stage of her upcoming world tour.
Recent data suggests Blackberry has less than five per cent of the North American market share, and the company has pinned its hopes on BlackBerry 10.