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BlackBerry 10 platform and new handsets unveiled

RIM rebrands as BlackBerry, new platform launched

BlackBerry Q10 combines touchscreen and physical keyboard.
BlackBerry Q10 combines touchscreen and physical keyboard.
The BlackBerry Z10 is a touchscreen device.
The BlackBerry Z10 is a touchscreen device.
Robert Bose, MD of BlackBerry MEA, speaking at the Dubai launch event.
Robert Bose, MD of BlackBerry MEA, speaking at the Dubai launch event.

Research In Motion has officially launched its new BlackBerry 10 platform and two touchscreen handsets that will run on BlackBerry 10.

The company, which has also been rebranded as BlackBerry, said that the BlackBerry 10 platform has been "re-designed, re-engineered, and re-invented", to create a "new and unique mobile computing experience".

The new BlackBerry handsets are the Z10, a fully touchscreen device, and the Q10, which will combine a touchscreen with a physical keyboard. The Z10 will be available in the UAE from 10th February, for an unsubsidised retail price of AED2,599 ($707). The Q10 will be available from the second quarter of the year.

The new platform was officially launched at simultaneous events in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, and Johannesburg.

"Today sees a re-invented BlackBerry launching an entirely new mobile experience," said Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of BlackBerry. "We are thrilled to be introducing BlackBerry 10 on the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones, to deliver a faster, smarter experience that continuously adapts to your needs.  Every feature, every gesture, and every detail in BlackBerry 10 is designed to keep you moving."

Robert Bose, managing director of RIM Middle East and Africa said at the Dubai launch event, held at the Armani Hotel:  "Across the region we hope to build on our solid foundations, and work closely with all of our partners and customers to create new ways to connect, people, content, services, and machines.

"This launch is especially exciting for us because of our strong legacy of success in the Middle East, here BlackBerry has become an extension of people's lives. It has helped shape the way people do business and connect with each other, and we look to build on that strong legacy with BlackBerry 10.

"Already we are working with a number of local partners with some of the most innovative mobile solutions for banking, transport, infrastructure, mhealth, and emergency services."

The launch event also including the introduction of Emirates NBD Banking application, the first banking app for BlackBerry 10 in the region, and games from Jordanian developer Maysalward.


The BlackBerry 10 platform includes a number of new features, including:
  • - BlackBerry Hub, which integrates all communications including personal or work email, BBM messages, social media updates or notifications, and the ability to ‘peek' into the BlackBerry Hub from anywhere

  • -BlackBerry Flow, which enables features and apps to flow seamlessly together, so that users do not have to switch back and forth between applications

  • - Intelligent virtual keyboard that understands and adapts to the user, to suggest words and develop one-touch typing

  • - BlackBerry Messenger with a new feature to share the screen with another BlackBerry 10 contact

  • - BlackBerry Balance technology, which separates work and personal usage, applications and data on the same device

  • - Time Shift camera feature that allows image manipulation from video to create composite images and Story Maker HD movie creator

  • - BlackBerry 10 browser, with HTML5 support and advanced features

  • - BlackBerry Remember organiser

  • - BlackBerry Safeguard technology for data protection.

  • - Built-in support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync so the BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10 smartphone can be simply connected and managed as other ActiveSync devices in a company, or enabled with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 to gain secure access to work email, ‘behind the firewall' applications and data, and benefit from other security and enterprise mobility management features.

  • - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare apps preinstalled.

 

BlackBerry has also established the BlackBerry World storefront, with over 70,000 BlackBerry 10 apps. Application providers including Disney, Cisco, Foursquare, Skype and Rovio have committed to the platform.

The new handsets will be available in black and white models. Both the Z10 and Q10 include 1.5 Ghz dual core processors with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and an expandable memory card slot. They include high density pixel and screen technology to display clear, sharp, and incredibly vivid images, micro HDMI out port for presentations, and advanced sensors such NFC (near field communications) to support mobile payments and the exchange of information with a tap of the smartphone. They also have a removable battery.