Research In Motion, the makers of the Blackberry, will host a glitzy event on Wednesday where they will finally take the wraps off their new operating system BB10, and unveil a host of new handsets that the Canadian firm hopes will turn around the company’s ailing fortunes.
The Z10 Smartphone
The 4.2-inch Z10, is the RIM’s attempt at a fully functional touchscreen smartphone that it hopes will tempt away disillusioned Android and iOS users. The handset comes with a 720p 4.2-inch HD screen, 16 GB of internal storage, 2 GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, NFC, 4G and a heathy 1800mAh battery.
The chassis of the Z10 has the classic Blackberry logo on the back, with the volume, power and hardware buttons which are the only breaks on the clean design lines.
The raised button between the volume up and down buttons on the right edge of the phone aren’t for the camera – but instead will launch the Voice Control app, which is the BlackBerry equivalent of Siri. From here you can send a text, make a call, search the web, send a BBM, add a calendar appointment and more.
The Blackberry World Digital Hub
On the software side of things, Blackberry announced today that their new iTunes-esque store will be bolstered with music, TV shows, major movies and apps, as RIM has just unveiled a rafter of deals with major studios and record labels.
The newly rebranded BlackBerry Store will contain “major catalogues” of digital content, with major names already on-board including Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, the BBC, Warner and ITV.
RIM is also going to offer movie rentals and downloads on BB10 devices the same days they come out on DVD and Blu-Ray – which is quite a scalp for the company.
They’ve also struck deals with Sony Music, Warner and Universal to offer users a service akin to iTunes, the store will open on January 31st, with 18 countries down to have access to the features from the get go, including the UK, US, Canada and France.
Where Can I Buy One?
While there’s a lot to still unveil at Blackberry world, a source close to Vodafone UK has leaked a in-house memo which states that the Z10 will be on sale within 48 hours of its official unveil, through Vodafone.
The black version of the Z10 will go on sale from launch, and the White version is expected to hit UK shelves in mid-February. Even more exciting is the Z10 will be the first handset to take advantage of Vodafone’s new 4G network.
The network is still ironing out the finer points of their 4G service, but Vodafone customers will get access to the new super-fast network on a new £47 contract that nets you 3GB of data and unlimited talk and text for 24 months, or if you want a cheaper monthly deal you can pay £229 up front for the BB Z10 and £25 per month, which includes 100MB of data, unlimited texts, and 100 minutes of talk.
It’s certainly going to be a big week for RIM as they show off what they hope is a Blackberry eco-system fit for the 21st century, with a range of BlackBerry handsets from smartphones to full qwerty Blackberrys on show.
We’ll have all the news from the Blackberry World launch event on Wednesday, so stay tuned.