RIM's BlackBerry 10 launch event kicks off this afternoon, with the big reveal coming at 15:00, and expectations are high. This really is make or break for BlackBerry. I've already identified six things I think the company should do if it wants to succeed with BlackBerry 10, but realistically, what have we heard they will do later on today? Here are my expectations for the event…
RIM will announce two phones, the full-touch Z10 and a keyboard toting device. The Z10 has leaked so much at this point that it's basically a given; it's a full-touch, slab-style phone that will be the first BB10 flagship. But many eyes (including mine) will be focused on the keyboard device, which most websites are calling the X10.
Lots of BlackBerry 10 feature demos
RIM has been demonstrating some BlackBerry 10 features in isolation for months now. We know about the Hub universal inbox, the Peek ability to look into your email from anywhere in the UI, the "Flow" multitasking, the "time shift" camera feature and the aggressively autocorrecting virtual keyboard. Expect RIM to show off the BlackBerry World store, BlackBerry Balance corporate sandboxing and BBM video calling, among other new features.
Z10 release date and pricing
We'll only get a solid release date and price for the Z10. Looking at the different levels of leakage seen with the two devices, you have to come to the conclusion that the Z10 is ready to go and the X10 isn't. Expect a near-term release date for the Z10 and something vaguer, like "Q2," for the other phone.
Attention to apps
Plenty of time will be spent on apps. RIM has pledged 70,000 apps in the new BlackBerry World at launch, but looking on existing devices, many big names are missing. RIM will target key, well-known app providers to prove that the platform isn't just about small developers at BlackBerry Jam events.
Super Bowl ad
We might see the Super Bowl ad. The company spent a lot of money buying an expensive ad at the Super Bowl. This will probably be the centrepiece of the company's BB10 campaign. Will RIM keep it a secret until Sunday, or show a preview this afternoon to help stoke up press coverage?
We might hear about a tablet. On Monday, RIM hinted in a press release that it's working on a new tablet, and it's certainly time to update the venerable PlayBook. A new tablet could really be RIM's "one more thing" later today.
Check back later on for our full coverage of the Blackberry 10 launch event. In the meantime, have a read of our BlackBerry 10: All you need to know article, and you can check out our hands on with BlackBerry 10 too.
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