It’s been a long time coming, but today is the day that RIM steps into the future as they prepare to unveil their new – and heavily delayed – BlackBerry 10 platform and devices. Rumour has it that we will see two devices today – one with RIM’s iconic QWERTY keyboard and one with just touch input – and further leaks suggest that we could even see devices on store shelves within the next 24 hours. Whether or not this turns out to be the case, RIM’s New York launch event starts at 10am ET/3pm GMT, and we will be blogging it live on this very page. Join us then to find out what RIM’s been working on.
All times are in GMT
This event has now finished
14:58 Let’s go!
15:00 Things seem a bit late starting, but the live stream is available here.
15:01 The apps seem to be popping up already. Here’s evidence.
World of Goo and Angry Birds Star Wars have appeared on my Dev Alpha—
Steve (@stroughtonsmith) January 30, 2013
15:04 According to TechnoBuffalo, the Z10 is already in Phones4U. We’ll be hunting it down tomorrow.
15:06 Things are kicking off! They flashed up the already-announced software stuff and now a broadcasting guy is showing global launches.
15:08 Now they’re showing business people (including EE’s Olaf Swantee) talking about what they love about BB10.
15:09 What seems evident is that carriers and businessmen love BB10, but will consumers?
15:10 I love rhetoric questions.
15:10 Alec Saunders, VP of Developer Relations (and this guy) says there are no devs in Antarctica. I need to prove him wrong.
15:13 “Honk if you want BlackBerry 10!” says this guy.
15:13 Now there’s a guy who made a song called No Sleep ‘Til BlackBerry 10. I kid you not.
15:14 Now random guy is talking to CrackBerry Kevin, the guy who said he wouldn’t cut his hair until the launch.
15:15 THEY ARE CUTTING KEVIN’S PONYTAIL.
15:16 Here’s Thorsten Heins, sounding German.
15:18 “Innovation is at the heart of RIM. Now finally, here we are!” Thorsten gets applause.
15:19 They keep saying BlackBerry 10 is here, but they’re not actually doing anything.
15:20 Are you hyper-connected socially? BB10 is for you!
15:21 It is ‘built to keep you moving’.
"We will soon give you more ways to connect your mobile experience to not just other people, but the whole world around you." = INTERNET—
(@Bluewall) January 30, 2013
15:23 We can confirm Thorsten did just say ‘internet of things’.
15:23 Thorsten’s thanking the QNX guys, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis.
15:26 RIM is killing the RIM name. RIM is now BlackBerry, making the BlackBerry. Finally they are making sense.
WHAAAAAAT RIM IS NOW BLACKBERRY THEY CHANGED THE NAME OMG—
nilay patel (@reckless) January 30, 2013
RIM is now just BlackBerry. Less confusing! Also a reminder if the new phones don't work the company is dead. They have nothing else.—
John Herrman (@jwherrman) January 30, 2013
15:28 BlackBerry’s new stock symbols are BBRY and BB.
15:29 NEW PHONES. Z10 and Q10.
15:29 The Z10 has a 356ppi 1280 x 768 4.2″ screen with a textured surface for comfort.
15:31 The Q10 has a physical keyboard. That’s literally it.
15:32 It does, however, have a glass weave cover. Nobody knows what that is, but it sounds weavy.
The four physical keyboard lovers in the audience are excited—
Steve (@stroughtonsmith) January 30, 2013
15:34 Some guy called Vivek is showing off the Flow multitasking and Peek notifications while watching a video of a German car.
15:37 Vivek and Thorsten are making vacation jokes in the Hub (the one with the notifications).
15:38 BB10 can link contacts together automagically, just like every other platform in the world.
15:38 Thorsten is literally clapping louder than the entire audience.
15:40 The new prediction-heavy keyboard looks cool, and is modelled on the BB QWERTY.
15:41 The default email signature seems to be “Sent from my new BlackBerry Z10”. UGH. I WILL NOT READ YOUR EMAILS WITH THAT KIND OF ADVERNATURE.
15:43 Balance lets you have work and personal profiles. Thorsten’s talking about the boring business security stuff.
15:56 We’re back! WordPress decided to do some server maintenance. Here’s what we missed.
Stuff we can't liveblog: BBM video calling and screensharing, Skype app and BlackBerry Remember (Evernote-ish thing for BB).—
Xavier Voigt-Hill (@Xavdog) January 30, 2013
15:56 And camera stuff, new third party apps (70k total) and Story Maker. STORIES.
15:58 The review embargo has been lifted. Here’s Joshua Topolsky’s.
From the @verge review : "The problem with the Z10 is that it doesn't necessarily do anything better than any of its competition."—
Steve (@stroughtonsmith) January 30, 2013
16:02 Over 1k top apps are on BB10. Massive punch aimed at Microsoft.
16:03 There’s Rdio, SoundHound, EA, social stuff and other stuff, but no sign of Spotify. Dealbreaker for many.
It's a sad day when some corporate executive screams "WE HAVE ANGRY BIRDS COMMITTED TO BLACKBERRY 10!" on stage.—
Jesus Diaz (@jesusdiaz) January 30, 2013
His basic message on apps? "WE HAVE APP." #blackberry10—
Xavier Voigt-Hill (@Xavdog) January 30, 2013
16:06 You can also get movies, TV and music from BlackBerry World.
16:07 Insert generically intensely soundtracked content advertising video here.
16:08 All four US carriers are getting these. Insert Thorsten clap.
16:09 The Z10 is available tomorrow in the UK in basically every store. I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.
16:10 Chemistry, that is. Might find the phone after.
16:10 Another big announcement from Thorsten is impending!
16:11 “We’ve created a new positiion at BlackBerry. A Global Creative Director!
16:12 It’s Alicia Keys.
10 minutes until Alicia Keys tweets how much she loves the BlackBerry Z10 from her iPhone—
T.C. Sottek (@LaughingStoic) January 30, 2013
16:15 Thorsten Heins is officially freakishly tall. Either that or all his employees are diminutive.
16:16 Alicia wants to “bridge the gap between the work phone and the play phone”.
16:17 Her job is to persuade Neil Gaiman to use BB10. There’s a video on it.
"Armed only with their bare fists, Alicia Keys will face Wil.I.Am. In a Hunger Games-style fight to the death." -Thorsten Heins—
Mike Isaac (@MikeIsaac) January 30, 2013
Charlie Kindel (@ckindel) January 30, 2013
16:20 It seems Alicia is starting in the office on Monday. Nice few days off.
16:20 Thorsten’s wrapping things up, so I will too. Thanks for joining us!
16:21 The press get a Q&A session, but I get to go and eat some crisps now. I’ll be getting some hands-on time tomorrow.
16:21 See you next time!
At its BlackBerry Jam
concert event to show off BlackBerry 10, RIM premiered a surreal music video in which leading employees sing their hearts out for the developer community. The video is rather surreal and confusing, so it’s best just to sit back and enjoy the dulcet tones of Alec Saunders, VP of developer relations.
There are many aspects about BlackBerry devices which this site has constantly reminded us are negative, but I, as a Curve owner, love my phone. Now I will try to defend this marvelous piece of technology.
Admittedly there are some things about the BlackBerry which are not up to scratch e.g. the constant crashes and crappy cameras, but also things are also very well done e.g. the hardware QWERTY keyboards. This is not a phone built for gaming so, if that is what you have had in mind for your phone, do not buy a BlackBerry. The BB has a wide range of apps that are useful for many things but not that many games can be found in the App World so, like I say, consider every aspect before you run into buying a phone which you will later regret. It is a lot more about socialising and business ventures because it is easy to send and receive e-mails and to surf the web while on the go.
One of the key features of BB is BlackBerry Messenger (or BBM). This proprietary service is great for contacting your friends. There are many apps out there which are available cross-platform but these are not as recognisable as BBM and also can be slightly confusing and hard to use if you do not know what you are doing from the beginning. I have broken many a phone having not known how to work the phone as a whole or just a certain aspect of it and this is unacceptable for non-technically-minded people.
If you get a Curve, BlackBerry phones can be very inexpensive. These cost next to nothing compared to iPhones and some Windows Phones which can cost ridiculous amounts of money. There is no need at all to spend £500 on a phone, excluding the newest models and especially the sexy PorscheBerry. The “click… click… click…” noise that Hannah complained about last week does not annoy me and can be easily avoided. and and the buttons on the qwerty keyboard is just the right size for people with normal sized hands. It is the right size to fit in most pockets and is also very easy to use and very straight forward.
Teenagers enjoy their BlackBerries for many different reasons, mainly because they look stylish and are cool. Everybody who is anybody in a secondary school either has a BB or has owned one. It has become a necessary accessory for those who wish to become cool. Saying this, I also recognise that RIM will have to pull their fingers out of their arses in order to stay alive and remain a major player in the smartphone market. There is a lot to be improved and fashions change but, at the moment BlackBerries are in and, like it or not, I don’t see desire for them fading anytime soon so get used to it.
Among teenagers, BlackBerry smartphones are all the hype at the moment, but I genuinely can’t help but ask myself why. While most people can see that RIM is on a knife edge and need to make drastic changes to survive, our demographic seems to be addicted to the Canadian QWERTY phones, with their outdated operating systems and poor user experiences. Why is this?
In my opinions BlackBerry phones (and PlayBooks) really aren’t great. People say that the BBM way of communicating is their favourite thing about the phones world, but this service ties you down to communicating with other BB users. Why not just download a cross-platform thing like WhatsApp? Then you will be able to communicate for free with people that have other phones too, such as Androids, iPhones and Windows Phones.
The performance of BlackBerry phones is often absolutely appalling, usually due to the outdated hardware, and my friends that have them are always complaining about how they crash far too regularly to be considered reliable. The camera quality is in a completely different league to other phones, and not in a good way. You cannot compare the quality with that of Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Apple cameras as it is just far too poor. The video quality is equally awful, almost embarrassing to watch once blown up to a decent size. The keys on the phone are small and hard to use at times.
Also (personal rant here) have you ever tried sharing a room with a BlackBerry user? When you’re trying to sleep at night and all you can hear is “click… click… click…” People claim that the keypad on the BlackBerry Bold doesn’t click, which for the record, is a lie. When the room is silent at night you can, and I repeat can, hear it. Now you may be thinking of a counter argument to do with the all-touch Torch and similar models due to the fact that they have software keyboards, however the touch panels are quite frankly of a severely sub-standard quality. In some of the older models the screen clicks as if it’s a button when you touch it. Resistive touch-screens do not deserve a place in this world.
BlackBerry devices are good as business phones due to the security and relative efficiency of the push email services, however as a phone for the youth, they are quite simply abysmal in my opinion. Much better alternatives are available at a wide array of price points, but BB diehards seem oblivious to this fact. I just wish that more people would think the same as me.
GoGo Girl, The Achiever: “Saving the day with a brilliant strategy”
Justin Steele, The Advocate: “Always ready to stick up for his friends”
Trudy Foreal, The Authentic: “Not afraid to call it as she sees it”.
Max Stone, The Adventurer: “Able to jump out of a plane…”
Earlier this week, RIM quietly announced that Thorsten Heins, their Chief Operating Officer, would replace Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis as the sole CEO of the troubled company behind the BlackBerry. The Bavarian has been at the company for just 4 years and has still yet to even see the OS of the future that is
BBX BB10 in action. He seems rather boring and doesn’t see the need for drastic change in Waterloo. What planet is this guy on? I wish him the best of luck in turning things around, but I’m not too optimistic. Watch his official introduction video below and judge Thorsten for yourself.