BlackBerry launched its comeback effort Wednesday with a revamped platform and a pair of sleek new handsets, along with a company name change as part of a move to reinvent the smartphone maker.
Canadian-based Research in Motion said it had changed its name to BlackBerry as it launched the BlackBerry 10, the new platform aimed at helping the firm regain traction in a market.
The company unveiled two new devices for its new platform, one with a physical keyboard called the Q10, and a touchscreen handset dubbed Z10. The new BlackBerry “will transform mobile communications into true mobile computing,” chief executive Thorsten Heins said.
The new OS
Another key asset of BlackBerry 10 is what RIM dubbed the “BlackBerry balance,” a system that allows users to separate professional communications and applications from music, photographs and other personal items.
Such an option means that if a user changes job, his or her former company can disable the device's corporate side without affecting personal data.
The new smartphones
The touchscreen Z10 will be sold at an unsubsidized price of $599, but can be obtained through some carriers for $149 with a three-year contract.
The Z10 has a display of 4.2 inches and is slightly longer and heavier than the iPhone 5. It has an eight megapixel rear camera and a front-facing one of two megapixels.
Battery life is estimated at 10 hours talking time and 13 days on standby.
Another feature is a mini-HDMI port to allow connections to a television or projector.
Pricing for the Q10, the keyboard-equipped sibling, was not made available Wednesday. The keyboard will reduce the size of the screen, which will be tactile, to 3.1 inches.
The Q10 will have the same BlackBerry 10 operating system and camera as the Z10. Details on battery life were not provided.