It’s been a long time coming, but the dawn of a new RIM age is finally upon us: the Canadian company is launching its next-generation BlackBerry 10 platform and accompanying handsets on 30 January. (Though, with all the delays we’ve endured, you couldn’t fault us for refusing to believe it until we see it.) As we hold our breath for the impending unveiling, we’re digging deep into just what the OS will mean for RIM in particular and for the mobile market in general.
Accordingly, this is ITProPortal’s ongoing home for all BlackBerry 10-related content, to be updated as more details inevitably surface over the coming days. We’ll be stocking the page with relevant news, commentary and reviews as they emerge, so stay tuned for the latest RIM and BB10 reports.
BlackBerry 10 unveiled - keep up to date with events as we report from the London launch.
The day has arrived for RIM to finally set BlackBerry 10 live, with the overhauled operating system set to be given its official unveiling alongside a host of accompanying handsets this afternoon. Here's a look at what's in store at the launch events taking place simultaneously across the world, and we've also investigated just what BlackBerry 10 must do to succeed.
RIM is probably wanting to focus purely on the big BB10 launch now it is so close, but speculation about the company's future is still lurking in the background. Lenovo had been linked with a buyout of the firm in recent days, but the Chinese manufacturer has now played down these reports. Other news emerging on the eve of the BB10 unveiling is that the OS's flagship handset, the BlackBerry Z10, will go on sale immediately after release on Vodafone. Follow the link for the details on that.
Elsewhere, forget the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, and even Beyonce — Research In Motion is hoping that BlackBerry 10 will be the main attraction at this year's Super Bowl. RIM has confirmed that its new mobile operating system will be featured in a Super Bowl XLVII advert — a first for the Canada-based company. The firm kept mum about details of the 30-second slot, which is likely to be costing them a cool $3.8 million (£2.41m). Will the hefty investment score a touchdown? We'll have to wait until Sunday (3 February) to see if RIM's Super Bowl ad ranks alongside the belching Budweiser frogs as an all-time classic, but there should be little doubt that the Canadian firm is doing everything it can to ensure BB10 wins over consumers.
Not long now! It seems pretty certain that RIM will be launching a range of handsets to coincide with the unveiling of its forthcoming platform. Hotly tipped to surface will be the BlackBerry Z10, which is expected to sport a 4.2in touchscreen, along with a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, 16GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Joining the Z10 is the rumoured X10, with a more traditional full-QWERTY keyboard design that has defined many a BlackBerry phone. Find out more on each model in our closer look at the Z10 and X10 handsets.
Talk of a RIM acquisition has been circulating for quite some time, with the likes of IBM and Samsung singled out as potential suitors in past years. The company's chief executive, Thorsten Heins, sent the rumours into overdrive by telling the press that, after the launch of BlackBerry 10, RIM would consider strategic options including selling off its hardware division and licensing its software to other manufacturers. But the latest news pits Lenovo as a possible RIM buyer, with the company's CFO telling Bloomberg it is engaged in talks with RIM over potential strategic partnerships. Details are scant, but any potential deal will likely be pinned down only in the event of a successful BlackBerry 10 launch.
With so many rumours flying about read more on BlackBerry 10: What we know for sure.
RIM has just released one of key pieces of the BlackBerry 10 puzzle: BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 is now available for download on BlackBerry.com. According to RIM, this new and improved version of its enterprise mobility solution "re-invents" its last-generation offering, allowing users to manage their devices, security and mobile app from one handy location. Its purported flexibility, which includes such features as allowing employees to use BES 10 even on non-BlackBerry devices, represents the core of what RIM is promising to deliver with BlackBerry 10 - security, productivity, and a balance between consumer and enterprise functionality.
Things are beginning to look up for RIM, with chief executive Thorsten Heins’ public comments about the company’s strategic options moving forward having seemingly boosted the market’s confidence in the Waterloo, Ontario-based firm. Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, Heins said RIM is mulling over its options, which include possibly selling off its hardware division or, as has been alluded to in the past, licensing out its software to other manufacturers. While Heins insisted that the priority for now is ensuring the successful launch of BlackBerry 10 next week, that didn’t stop the market from registering its approval - in New York, shares of RIM shot up 17 per cent after Heins’ comments, while the stock jumped 11 per cent in Toronto.
We’ve exhausted many brain cells wondering what changes RIM will introduce with its BlackBerry 10 software, but let’s not forget the launch of the next-gen platform will also mean next-gen smartphones. Previous speculation suggested that the company will launch a handset with a physical keyboard - one of BlackBerry’s biggest selling points to its remaining customer base - with a full-touchscreen device due to follow. But with just seven days to go before the official launch, new reports have revealed more about the rumoured BlackBerry Z10 handset. The rumour mill points to a low pricepoint - sub-$149 (£94) with a two-year contract - for what is expected to be the platform's flagship device.
With less than a week to go before the launch of BlackBerry 10, RIM has announced a new change to its app store - the market place, formerly known as BlackBerry App World, will now be called BlackBerry World. The moniker shift purportedly represents BB10’s redesigned market place, which promises to offer media and entertainment content, like music and movies, in addition to apps. The change "reflects a shift in the type of things you can purchase from the store as we transition to Blackberry 10 and beyond," RIM said. The new BlackBerry World is now available for desktops and existing BlackBerry handsets and tablets, though we’re likely to hear more about it at next week’s launch.
As the mobile operating system wars heat up, it’s become increasingly clear that apps hold much sway with the public. iOS and Android, both of which attract developers in droves, have an upper hand over Windows 8 and BlackBerry simply because of the sheer number, and quality, of apps available for their platforms. But as RIM prepares to introduce its next-generation BlackBerry 10 OS, few things will be as critical to its success as being able to brag about the number of apps it has on offer. And it looks like the Canadian firm just might be able to pull it off - RIM has revealed that it received 15,000 app submissions in less than two days following two Port-A-Thon events. We’ll have to wait and see how many of them make it into the store, but it’s certainly a promising start.