An article I wrote for Electronic Products.
Will the Z10 and Q10 get BlackBerry back in the game?
With the release of BlackBerry 10, it appears that BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion Ltd.) is attempting a brave comeback. Competing with rivals like Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has been a struggle, and this may be BlackBerry’s last shot at becoming the third viable smartphone competitor in the market.
What BlackBerry is up against
To no one’s surprise, Apple and Samsung dominated the smartphone market together in 2012, making up close to half of global smartphone shipments. Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS held nearly 90% share of the smartphone operating system market. In the cellphone market last year, smartphones took up 49% of shipments, and as for the near future, smartphone shipments are going to skyrocket, expected to take up at least three quarters of the global cellphone market.
So, the clock is ticking for BlackBerry — what makes it stand out?
Firstly, there are two new BlackBerry devices, the Z10 and the Q10.
With its touchscreen, most of the attention is focused on the Z10, which is certainly getting with the times. Remodeled with a 4.2-in. display, the Z10 has more space than its cramped predecessors. The deletion of the QWERTY keyboard, trackpad, and physical buttons give the BlackBerry 10 a sleek, modern look.
But BlackBerry can’t risk disappointing the loyal following of the original BlackBerry setup. So, also unveiled was the QWERTY-keyboard– enabled Q10, equipped to handle the needs of existing BlackBerry fans who want more than a fancy touchscreen.
The BlackBerry 10 OS powers both versions of BlackBerry 10. The system is based around the ideas of Hub, Peek, and Flow. The key feature, Hub, allows users to get all of their messages and notifications in one place. Peek is an extension of Hub, allowing users to open texts, emails, and social networking updates without closing the app they were originally using. Flow is simply BlackBerry 10’s one-handed swipe feature.
Being able to launch over 70,000 applications, BlackBerry 10 has a good head start in the app department. Of these, some major titles include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare, and Skype. Skype now offers video chatting and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) Screen Share, which lets users share their entire screens over BBM.
Impressive, but that’s not all. BlackBerry 10 also introduced Balance, a feature useful to professionals who use their devices for both personal use and work. By using swipe gestures, the user is able to switch between “work” and “personal” profiles. This helps employees eliminate the need for two mobile devices.
After its anticipated breakthrough, BlackBerry plans to hold its ground. With its surprising speed, up-to-date look, and modern features, BlackBerry went from near-death to possibly, a renewed life.
When can you get the new Blackberry?
Though it’s available to purchase in the United Kingdom, BlackBerry Z10 will be not be available in the United States until March. It will be available in Canada and the United Arab Emirates this month.
As for BlackBerry Q10, details are yet to come.