New Delhi: After a long delay, BlackBerry, the name by which Research In Motion now calls itself, has announced the launch of its first BlackBerry 10 smartphones - Z10 and Q10.
BlackBerry says it says will put the company on the comeback trail in a market it once dominated, promising its BlackBerry 10 devices will wow consumers and businesses alike when they hit stores.
The Blackberry Z10 is a complete touchscreen smartphone, while the Q10 is the first Blackberry 10 smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard. The Z10 has a 4.2 inch screen at 356 ppi.
BlackBerry announced that over 70,000 apps are now available for BlackBerry 10 devices and includes Skype, Amazon Kindle, WhatsApp, SAP and Angry Birds.
Signaling his hopes for a fresh start for the company that pioneered on-your-hip email, Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins said RIM was abandoning the name it has used since its inception in 1985. From now on, he told tech analysts and other guests, the company will just be known as BlackBerry.
The company also demonstrated the "BlackBerry Flow" feature for multitasking. "For me, the BlackBerry hub is the most exciting thing about BlackBerry 10, said Vivek Bhardwaj, head of software portfolio, BlackBerry. The Hub integrates social network notifications in addition to BBM and email. users can tweet directly from the hub, act on notifications, without leaving the Blackberry hub.
The interface is gesture based. Users can performs various functions with swipes. To access punctuation and other characters, users can use swipe gestures.
The new BlackBerry 10 phones will compete with Apple's iPhone and devices using Google's Android technology, both of which have soared above the BlackBerry in a competitive market.
The BlackBerry 10 phones boast fast browsers, new features, smart cameras and, unlike previous models, enter the market primed with a large app library.
"We have definitely been on a journey of transformation, a journey to not only transform our business and our brand, but one which I truly believe will transform mobile communications into true mobile computing," Heins said at a New York launch event.
"It's been almost one year exactly since I was handed the reins at Research In Motion, and it has been easily the most challenging year of my career to date. It has also been by far the most exhilarating and the most rewarding one."
RIM picked a range of venues for its global launch parties. Toronto's announcement was in the downtown art deco Carlu rooms, while the Dubai event was held at the $650-a-night Armani hotel, which occupies six floors of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower.
The New York event took place in a sprawling basketball facility on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, just north of the Manhattan bridge. The Blackberry has been "Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented," RIM said.
(With inputs from Reuters)