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BlackBerry comes out guns blazing

From launching two new devices - a full touchscreen one and a QWERTY keypad one - to renaming the company phone maker comes out all guns blazing

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/XPRESS
True to touch: Media gets a first lookat the Z10 during the launch in DubaiXPRESS/Ahmed Ramzan

DUBAI BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has announced two new devices – Z10 (full touchscreen) and Q10 (qwerty keypad) along with the new OS 10 at a glitzy four-hour event in the Burj Khalifa that ran simultaneously in five other cities around the world.

However, only the Z10 was launched in the UAE (available in retail shelves mid-February), while the Q10 will be on UAE shelves in the second quarter.

Wait, there’s more. The company name has been changed to BlackBerry (goodbye RIM) and it has roped in singer-superstar Alicia Keys as global creative director.

Media, telecom and retail executives were given a hands-on experience with BB10 devices at the “Experience Zone”.

“We’re building new ways of connecting people, moving from mobile communications to mobile computing,” said Robert Bose, regional managing director for the Middle East and Africa.

The Canadian innovator launched their new platform simultaneously in Toronto, Johannesburg, Dubai, London, New York and Paris.

The elaborate event involved simulcasts and web streaming -- allowing full HD broadcasts of the event using four satellites whose footprints cover the globe.

Speaking about the new OS, a company official said the new BB10 operating system allows connectivity with Citrix, a platform used by big firms and media organisations for remote access, as well as HP’s e@Print. They form part of a suite of 70,000 apps (including numerous Arabic apps), which RIM claims is the largest application library for any new platform at launch.

BlackBerry has also launched a new voice messenger service (BB Messenger Voice - BBMV) between Wi-Fi connected BlackBerrys, it was not clear whether this will be allowed in the UAE.

The launch is viewed by many to be a make or break for BlackBerry which has seen lost market share to iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy SIII.

Though the new BB10 won’t hit Dubai stores until mid-February analysts reckon its new features could hot up the smartphone war.

The Two phones launched -- a full touch-screen gear (Z10) and one with a qwerty keypad (Q10) fan hopes the Canadian firm could be restored to its old glory as a technology innovator.




• The new BB10 devices come with long-term evolution (LTE)-support, dual-core processors, plenty of RAM and storage.

• BlackBerry Balance -- keeps work and personal data separate

= Z10 has a 8mp back camera and 2mp front camera

• BBM Voice –- Analysts dub this as the “game changer” app, allowing voice chat over Wi-Fi.

• True multitasking – Up to 8 active applications can run at a time

• Hub – it collects a user’s e-mail, text messages and social-media alerts in one place.

- Story maker” allows users to put videos, pictures and music in a single presentation.•

• Time Shift mode: Great for choosing the best expression, shot or feature from multi-images and making one image

First mobile banking app in UAE on BB10 is from Emirates NBD.

Price: Dh 2,599 (unlocked version)


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