New Delhi: RIM today will unveil its two new smartphones running its latest BlackBerry 10 OS on January 30. While some are speculating that one of its phones will be named BlackBerry Z10, others are of the opinion that BlackBerry 10 will have video calling and screen sharing capabilities.
Besides rumours and speculations by experts, the company has also revealed some of the features of the new OS. According to RIM, BlackBerry 10 promises to offer features like BlackBerry Flow, BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Balance, and the all-new BlackBerry Keyboard.
The launch of BlackBerry 10 is going to be a make-or-break situation for RIM. RIM, which once commanded the lead in the smartphone market, has rapidly lost ground to Apple's iPhone and Samsung's line of Galaxy products, especially in North American and European markets, as customers abandon its aging BlackBerry devices.
The company is expected to unveil specifics on pricing and availability in different regions at the launch.
Here is everything that you want to know about BlackBerry 10 OS and smartphones powered by it.
BlackBerry-maker RIM's BlackBerry 10 launch event will take place on January 30, 2013. It's just a few hours away. This day will mark the official launch of its new platform - BlackBerry 10, as well as the unveiling of the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
The event will happen simultaneously in multiple countries around the globe, where details of the smartphones and their availability will be announced.
RIM hopes its new line of BB10 smartphones will help it claw back market share from Apple's iPhone and devices powered by Google's Android operating system.
Research In Motion is confident its new BlackBerry 10 devices will be 100 per cent ready for the January 30 launch and available in stores "not too long after" that, Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear said. "We're working hard right now to make sure all the bits and pieces and all the details are in place for the date, when the devices will be available for consumers and enterprises," Tear told Reuters in an interview.
BlackBerry 10 smartphones
RIM says its the new devices will be faster and smoother than its existing phones and have a large catalogue of applications that are crucial to the success of any smartphone.
Tear said RIM has used input from current BlackBerry users to influence the design of the new devices, The new phones both build on the strengths of RIM's existing operating system and improve on its weak points, he said.
RIM has said it initially plans to roll out a high-end touchscreen version of the device. Phones with the mini QWERTY keyboards that many long-time BlackBerry users adore will come a few weeks later, while lower-end versions of both devices will be launched later in the year.
The company hopes the new devices will allow it to claw back some of the market share it has lost to Android and Apple phones.
BlackBerry 10 AppWorld
Research In Motion is pushing for app quality, not quantity. In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, RIM Chief Executive Thorsten Heins admitted that app libraries play a crucial role in the success or failure of smartphones. But he said the game is not just about numbers.
"The tactic we are deploying is by country and by region. We are aiming to have the most important 200 to 400 apps available, because many applications are regional and they really do have a regional flavour," Heins said.
RIM's projected 100,000 apps - a record for any new platform at launch - will still be a fraction of those available on Apple or Google devices. In terms of numbers, RIM's app offering will remain far behind the Apple and Google app stores, each of which boast over 700,000 apps. But Heins said he was not worried.
RIM says it aims to offer both the most popular applications in the market, and also those most relevant to Blackberry aficionados - people Heins described as hyper-connected multi-taskers who need to get things done.
"In my view it is really short-sighted to say, you have 600,000, you have 400,000 and you only have 100,000 apps, so you are not good," he said.
"Look at how many actually get downloaded. ... BlackBerry App World today is still the most profitable portal for application developers - it has the highest number of paid for downloads."
The company has yet to say exactly when the devices will be available in stores worldwide or how much they will cost.
List of banned BlackBerry 10 passwords
With the BlackBerry 10 launch around the corner, Research in Motion has kept security as one of the paramount features of its upcoming OS. According to a report by Rapid Berry, a list of 106 passwords that the company will not let you use on this platform has been revealed.
According to the Rapid Berry post, a list of 106 banned passwords has been stored in the upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS. The passwords that have been banned range from 123456 to batman to freedom to iloveyou.
Click here to see list of the passwords that you will not be allowed to use when the BlackBerry 10 handsets become available.
BlackBerry 10 and mobile service operatiors in India
Aircel has confirmed that it will launch BlackBerry 10 in India when the smartphones are available in India, which should be a few weeks after the global launch scheduled for January 30.
We contacted various Indian telecom operators on their plans to launch BlackBerry 10 (BB10) in India and while Aircel has confirmed that it will launch BlackBerry 10, Vodafone has said it will make an announcement only after the global launch; Airtel and Tata Docomo had not reverted at the time of writing this.
Idea and Reliance GSM were the only operators who said they have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices. Given Vodafone's strong ties with BlackBerry globally, it would be very unlikely that it would not launch BlackBerry 10.
Rumours and Updates
Here is what the rumour mill is churning out:
1. The name of the first BlackBerry 10 phone is rumoured to be the BlackBerry Z10. It is expected to come in two colours - black and white. The Internet is abuzz with a spate of leaked photos of BlackBerry 10 devices.
2. RIM is likely to target multiple price points with a spate of devices in 2013. According to The Verge, "in an interview with Fierce Wireless, CMO Frank Boulben said that there will be at least six BlackBerry 10 phones released in 2013, and that the company would aim to hit a range of price points."
3. According to Phone Arena, specifications for the Z10 have been revealed. As it turns out, the specs are very similar to that of the developer alpha devices used by developers to make apps for BlackBerry 10. The phone will run on a dual core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor and will support a quad band radio featuring HSPA+/UMTS, quad band GSM/GPRS and quad band LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 13, 17. It will also have a 4.2-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 356 ppi. It will come with 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage with a hot swappable microSD card slot. It will also support all the standard Wi-Fi networks and GPS with A-GPS. The shooters on the device are an 8 megapixel camera with auto focus and a 2 megapixel front facing camera. The cameras will have 1080p video recording. All of this will be powered by an 1800 mAh battery.
4. If rumours are to be believed, one of the BlackBerry 10 devices will have a 4.3-inch display. The phone is speculated to have a microSD card slot.
5. BlackBerry's event Port-a-Thon, held to encourage app and game submissions, has seen 15,000 app submissions in about 37 hours. Alec Saunders, VP - Developer Relations, RIM, wrote in a tweet, "Well there you have it. 37.5 hours in, we hit 15,000 apps for this portathon. Feel like I've run a marathon. Thanks to all the devs! (Sic)."
6. With the release of the much awaited BlackBerry 10 round the corner, surprising leaks seem to be enticing users. Leaked images have sprung up on the Internet suggesting the newest OS from Research in Motion, (RIM) BlackBerry 10, will have video calling and screen sharing capabilities.
7. If you are curious to get a glimpse of what the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system from Research in Motion will look like, then we would like to tell you that a forum member at CrackBerry has revealed a range of screenshots.
1. Reviewers like the browser speed and the intuitive keyboard on RIM's new touchscreen. A feature called BlackBerry Balance, which keeps corporate and personal data separate, could help RIM rebuild its traditional base of big business customers.
2. Over 150 carriers already have tested the new devices and RIM has said the launch will be the largest ever global rollout of a new platform.
3. The company is expected to unveil specifics on pricing and availability in different regions at the launch. "The Street is expecting mid-February for a launch. Anything earlier than that is a positive, anything later will be viewed as negative," said RBC Dominion Securities analyst Paul Treiber.
4. BlackBerry 10 will not be able to compete on the number of apps, but RIM says its operating system will have the largest application library for any new platform at launch, with more than 70,000 apps available.
5. Research In Motion Ltd has gathered a number of big-name music and video partners for its BlackBerry 10 storefront, ranging from Walt Disney Studios and Sony Pictures to Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. RIM announced the partners on Monday, ahead of Wednesday's launch of its first phones based on its much-delayed BlackBerry 10 smartphone platform, which may be the company's last chance to regain ground it has lost to Apple Inc's iPhone.