Research In Motion (RIM) President & CEO – Thorsten Heins – launched the new QNX-based BlackBerry 10 operating system and unveils the full-touchscreen Z10 and physical keyboard-equipped Q10 smartphones.
RIM is also renaming itself as BlackBerry from today.
Shareholders’ response to the launch inside. All images in this article were screen-grabbed from webcast of the event.
The basic premise of the new “BlackBerry experience” is about extending connectivity to everything around users – connecting the phone to the car, sound system, healthcare system etc.
Three overarching innovations to enable this are the BlackBerry Hub, Peek and Flow.
Hub is akin to the People Hub of Microsoft Windows Phone operating system and consolidates all people related and social network information and updates in one place.
Peek allows smooth multi-tasking without having to switch between apps – much like partially flipping the page of a book to peer at another book while keeping the current page in view.
The driving principle is Flow – a smooth, fluid user experience when using a BlackBerry 10 device.
Two devices were unveiled: a 4.2-inch full-touchscreen Z10 and a physical keyboard-equipped Q10 smartphone that looks like the Bold.
The demos showed how these phones could be used largely with one hand – in fact, most manipulations could be accomplished with a single thumb.
The new BlackBerry 10 operating system is based on QNX. The decision to replace the previous operating system for the new platform was taken two years ago.
Starting from scratch, BlackBerry World already has some 70,000 apps, including the major popular apps that users need on their smartphones.
For its mainstay BlackBerry Messenger app, video has been added. There is now BBM Video Chat and BBM Screen Share.
For those frustrated at having to carry two phones – one for work and another for personal use – BlackBerry Balance will allow corporate workers to use a BlackBerry 10 smartphone for both, with one-touch switching between spaces but with updates/notifications consolidated together.
In an effort to rejuvenate its image, the company has created a new position of Global Creative Director and has appointed “prodigal-user” Alicia Keys to the job.
The R&B singer used to be BlackBerry fan – started using other makes – but is now back in the BlackBerry fold.
As for the PlayBook tablet, a BlackBerry 10 update is on the works but Heins mentioned that BlackBerry is rethinking its strategy before introducing any new models.
Below is a snapshot of the stock market response to the launch.