BlackBerry 10.1 software update coming as early as March

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Feb 272013
 
BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry looks to be getting ready to launch its first OS update for BlackBerry 10. One of the first carriers that could see the update could be TELUS Mobility. According to the latest edition of its “Upcoming software updates schedule,” the BlackBerry Z10 will be upgraded to BlackBerry 10.1 starting sometime in March.

The update schedule shows a status of “Testing pending.” This may indicate that TELUS has yet to receive the update and put it through its certification process. If so, a late March release may be more likely than an early one.

Unfortunately, there is no information just yet on what Z10 users can expect from BlackBerry 10.1. At the very least, it will be a maintenance release that will address some of the bugs that have surfaced since the smartphone’s launch earlier this month.

TELUS warns that “all dates are subject to change.” We’ll have to check back regularly to see whether the update remains on schedule.

Read more: TELUS Mobility (Source: MobileSyrup)

Canadians to buy 2.6 million BlackBerry 10 devices over next year?

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Feb 112013
 
RIM BlackBerry

The love affair between BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) and Canadians does not appear to be waning. A poll conducted earlier this month by Forum Research Inc. found that about 8% of Canadians are “almost certain” to buy a BlackBerry 10 device over the next year. Another 19% were “very likely” to buy one as well. That could translate to sales of between 1.2 million and 2.6 million BlackBerry 10 devices in Canada alone.

The survey also found that BlackBerry 10 devices were most popular with those aged between 35 and 44 and making CA$100,000 or more a year.

While that part of the survey is encouraging, BlackBerry will have a lot more work to do with the 64% that said that they were “unlikely” to buy a BlackBerry 10 device.

Sales of the first BlackBerry 10 device were off to a solid start in Canada. While no specific numbers were provided, company CEO Thorsten Heins described the BlackBerry Z10’s debut as the “best day ever” for the launch of a BlackBerry smartphone in Canada. It would appear that, at least at this early stage, BlackBerry does have a chance to establish itself as Canada’s third-largest mobile platform in 2013 as predicted by IDC Canada late last year.

Analysts such as National Bank’s Kris Thompson and Byron Capital Markets’ Tom Astle expect that BlackBerry could ship between 35 and 40 million devices in 2014.

Read more: The Globe and Mail

BlackBerry Q10 to launch in “April timeframe”

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Feb 042013
 

BlackBerry Q10The launch window of the upcoming BlackBerry Q10 got a bit narrower today. We first learned last week that BlackBerry would launch the BlackBerry Q10 in Canada sometime “this spring.” BlackBerry today confirmed that the global launch will take place “in the April time frame.” Confirmation came from Andrew MacLeod, Managing Directory for BlackBerry Canada, during a BlackBerry Experience Forum event taking place today. MacLeod added that “every market has different timelines and marketing windows.”

If the BlackBerry Z10 launch is any indication, Canada should be among the first countries to launch the Q10. One carrier, Rogers, is even already taking reservations for the BlackBerry Q10.

The BlackBerry Q10 will be BlackBerry’s first BlackBerry 10 device with a physical keyboard. Full specifications have not been announced yet but it will come with an AMOLED display offering a resolution of 720 by 720 pixels, the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone, and LTE connectivity. It will use a “unique glass-weave material” that promises to be thinner and lighter, but stronger than plastic.

Read more: MobileSyrup

BlackBerry partners with Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team

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Feb 042013
 
RIM BlackBerry

BlackBerry knows that it will need to move fast to get back into the smartphone game. As part of its new Keep Moving ad campaign, it announced a new partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. Team principal Ross Brawn said,

“On the day that our new Silver Arrow, the F1 W04, is launched, we are very pleased to announce our partnership with BlackBerry. We are looking forward to embracing the new BlackBerry 10 platform at both a technical and operational level, as well as collaborating with the team at BlackBerry to bring new mobile innovation to MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS. It is especially pleasing to be able to launch this exciting partnership today as our latest Silver Arrow takes to the track with BlackBerry branding.”

Not only will the team use BlackBerry smartphones throughout the season but BlackBerry will also collaborate with the team on technical and marketing opportunities, including some apps and fan engagement.

As part of the new partnership, BlackBerry branding will feature on the chassis and headrest of the F1 W04 Silver Arrow, the racesuits of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, and on the team’s racewear kit.

Read more: Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1

Video: The BlackBerry Z10 Super Bowl ad

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Feb 032013
 

Just before a power outage halted the Super Bowl just as the second half was getting underway, BlackBerry’s BlackBerry Z10 ad aired. The 30 second ad focused on a few things that BlackBerry 10 cannot do, explaining those colourful puffs of smoke and bouncing yellow rubber ducks:

The ad was a one-time deal and will not feature in BlackBerry’s upcoming Keep Moving ad campaign which gets underway February 4th.

Was the ad everything you expected and more? Or the opposite?

Read more: BlackBerry [via Twitter]

Another BlackBerry 10 Super Bowl ad teaser

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Feb 022013
 

With BlackBerry 10 having officially launched this week alongside the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10, the BlackBerry marketing machine is in high gear to get the word out. Part of its marketing blitz includes a 30 second ad that will air during tomorrow’s Super Bowl. Yesterday, it teased us with an image from the ad and it’s doing it again today with a new one:

BlackBerry 10 Super Bowl ad teaser

Clouds of smoke, bouncing balls, whatever BlackBerry has in mind, it promises to be colourful. Hopefully it will also be clever and catchy! Fortunately, with the game only a day away, we will not have to wait too long to see the ad revealed in its entirety.

Read more: BlackBerry [via Twitter]

BlackBerry 10 Super Bowl ad teaser

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Feb 012013
 

BlackBerry will be among the companies putting down millions of dollars to have their BlackBerry 10 ad run during the Super Bowl on Sunday February 3rd. It took to Twitter today to post a teaser of what the ad will be about:

2013 Super Bowl BlackBerry ad teaser

Any thoughts on what the 30-second ad will be about? It promises to be colourful if nothing else. And an appearance by the new BlackBerry Z10 (and perhaps even a Q10) should not be ruled out.

Here’s hoping that BlackBerry has come up with a clever and catchy ad!

Read more: BlackBerry

BlackBerry CEO confirms PlayBook BlackBerry 10 upgrades

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Jan 312013
 

RIM BlackBerry PlayBookResearch In Motion (now known as BlackBerry) confirmed back last May that PlayBook tablets would be upgraded to BlackBerry 10 shortly after the launch of its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone. No mention was made of this at yesterday’s launch though. Fortunately for those looking for an update, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins yesterday reconfirmed this in an interview with CNBC.

We will provide BlackBerry 10 software updates for all of the PlayBooks that are out there. So, the wifi and the 4G versions, they will all be upgraded to BlackBerry 10.

No timelines for when the upgrade will roll out were provided (nor were they asked for during the interview).

If you want to see more of what Thorsten had to say, here is the video:

Asked about their plans for the tablet market, Heins described it as one that has “special rules” and RIM would look at it from a “profitability perspective” but will “continue to be in it.”

Read more: CNBC

Rogers begins taking BlackBerry Q10 reservations

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Jan 312013
 

As promised yesterday, Rogers today began to take reservations for the BlackBerry Q10, the first BlackBerry 10 device with a physical keyboard. There is one caveat: Reservations are only open to current Rogers customers.

Rogers BlackBerry Q10 reservation screen

More good news: The usual CA$40 reservation fee has been waived.

Specific BlackBerry Q10 launch and pricing details have not been announced. It could launch in Canada this spring.

Read more: Rogers

BlackBerry Q10 to launch in Canada “this spring”

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Jan 302013
 

BlackBerry Q10While most of the attention today was on the BlackBerry Z10 as it will be launching first, many keyboard fans are waiting for the BlackBerry Q10. Billed as “the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone with a physical keyboard,” it will launch a bit later than the BlackBerry Z10 but the exact date has yet to be announced. Fortunately, MobileSyrup was able to get BlackBerry to narrow the launch window to sometime “this spring.”

Past rumours had suggested a launch in February or about four to six week after that of the Z10. If so, we could see the Q10 sometime in early to mid-March (around the same time as the Z10 will launch in the U.S.?).

BlackBerry did not announce the full specifications of the BlackBerry Q10. It will come with a 3.1-inch AMOLED display offering a resolution of 720 by 720 pixels, the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone, and LTE connectivity. It uses a “unique glass-weave material” that promises to be thinner and lighter, but stronger than plastic.

Pricing details not announced either.

Read more: MobileSyrup and Inside BlackBerry

Recap of BlackBerry 10 Experience Launch event

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Jan 302013
 

Research In MotionThe buildup is over. President and CEO Thorsten Heins took to the stage today for the BlackBerry 10 Experience Launch event. Here is a summary of today’s event:

  • Introduction:
  • The most challenging but also most exhilarating year in his life
  • Recognition for the RIM team for their hard work to get to this point
  • Today is not the finish line but the starting line: BlackBerry 10 will keep people moving.
  • Today is a new day in RIM’s history. Two years ago, RIM decided to go it alone with its own mobile operating system (based on QNX).
  • Company rebrands: “From this point forward, RIM becomes BlackBerry.” / “One brand, one promise”
  • Devices and BlackBerry 10:
  • BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 (with physical keyboard) announced
  • Irrespective of which one you choose, it will be the “best keyboard experience”
  • BlackBerry 10: Demonstration of “BlackBerry Hub” multitasking along with “BlackBerry Peek” and “BlackBerry Flow”.
  • BlackBerry 10: Demonstration of “BlackBerry Keyboard” – One thumb to do all your typing
  • Multi-language predictive ability. Able to deal with typos like missed spaces
  • BlackBerry 10: Demonstration of “BlackBerry Balance” to help separate work and personal work but applications coexist to facilitate switch back and forth
  • New features in BBM include BBM Video and BBM Screenshare which lets you share your screen
  • BlackBerry Remember demonstration
  • BlackBerry Camera demonstration with TimeShift
  • Picture Editor demonstration
  • BlackBerry Story Maker: Video creation
  • BlackBerry World: Over 70,000 applications available at launch including Skype, Amazon Kindle, WhatsApp, SAP, Angry Birds Star Wars
  • BlackBerry World: All major record labels, TV and movie studios onboard
  • Availability:
  • US: BlackBerry Z10 coming in March from major carriers
  • Canada: BlackBerry Z10 will be available starting February 5th. Pricing will start at CA$149.99 with a three-year contract.
  • UK: BlackBerry Z10 to launch on January 30th
  • BlackBerry Q10 expected to launch in April in U.S.
  • In closing, Heins announced that Alicia Keys has been hired as BlackBerry Global Creative Director.

And that’s a wrap. Specific details about devices and availability to follow shortly.

BlackBerry Z10 retail packaging revealed?

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Jan 292013
 

We’ve seen plenty of pictures of the all-touch BlackBerry Z10 that RIM is expected to unveil tomorrow (along with the BlackBerry X10 with QWERTY keyboard). Now comes a picture of the retail box you can expect that BlackBerry device to come in:

RIM BlackBerry Z10 retail packaging

The contents of the box were not revealed. Aside from the smartphone itself, it will likely contain the battery, a charger and USB cable, earbuds and the usual manuals (quick start guide and warranty).

All will be revealed very soon now. There is now less than 24 hours before RIM takes to the stage to unveil its new BlackBerry 10 devices.

Read more: CrackBerry

RIM to livestream its BlackBerry 10 launch event

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Jan 282013
 
Research In Motion

There is good news today for everyone who will not have the opportunity to attend one of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry 10 launch events on Wednesday, January 30th. The events will be livestreamed:

The event will happen simultaneously in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Dubai, Johannesburg, Jakarta and Delhi. This day will mark the official launch of its new platform – BlackBerry 10, as well as the unveiling of the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Details on the smartphones and their availability will be announced at the event.

The live webcast will start at 1000 ET at http://www1.rim.com/newsroom.html

Keep it locked here; we’ll bring you all the details of RIM’s announcement.

Read more: RIM

Humour: Rick Mercer shows off BlackBerry 10 “Reversal of Fortune” app

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Jan 282013
 

With all the BlackBerry 10 rumours swirling ahead of the official announcement this coming Wednesday, one new BlackBerry 10 has managed to stay out of the limelight until now. Revealed by Rick Mercer, “Reversal of Fortune” comes with the tag line “We’re out of the shame and into the light.” It comes with a stock tracker that lets you see how much RIM stock is climbing while Apple’s is tumbling, Smug Wipe which lets you watch the smirk disappear from iPhone users’ faces, and Waterloo StreetView which lets you see web designers flock back to Waterloo from California.

The app even reveals the truth behind Apple’s Siri app.

It’s not the first time that Rick Mercer has had a bit of fun with RIM. Back in October, he revealed the BlackBerry Outàge and before that, dealt with the impact of RIM’s troubles on average Canadians.

Read more: The Mercer Report [via YouTube] (Source: @RickMercer) [via Twitter]

BlackBerry 10 headed to the Super Bowl

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Jan 252013
 
RIM BlackBerry

BlackBerry 10 is going to the SuperBowl! Following the unveiling of the first BlackBerry 10 devices on January 30th, RIM will be hitting the airwaves on February 3rd with its first ever Super Bowl ad.

“A Super Bowl commercial, is a great opportunity to show the re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry to tens of millions of consumers on the largest advertising stage of the year,” said Frank Boulben, Chief Marketing Officer, Research In Motion. “BlackBerry has 30 million social media fans, and we’re looking forward to continuing to encourage them and all NFL football fans to see the power of BlackBerry 10 for themselves.”

With over 100 million people expected to tune in (many for the ads as much as the game), that’s a lot of eyeballs (including many in Canada) that will be catching a glimpse of BlackBerry 10. And with 30 million social media fans, RIM also promises to be fully engaged with “pre- and post-game on-site, digital and social activities, including real time engagement with BlackBerry social fans on Facebook and Twitter, as well as extending and amplifying exposure and fan engagement through Promoted Posts and Sponsored Story ads.”

Buried in the press release is a hint that RIM has the next-generation PlayBook waiting in the wings. It describes BlackBerry 10 as the “new mobile computing platform that will power the next generation of smartphones and tablets” (our emphasis). While all the attention has been on the smartphones, a new tablet hopefully not be long in coming.