While the big show in New York is just moments away, the company is staging events around the world to help get the message out about the new BlackBerry 10 OS and phones.
Painting A Picture
After the hammering it took in 2012, and the recent surge of interest, good news and hope from loyal users, now is the time for RIM to deliver BlackBerry 10 to the world. While the main event is just about to kick off, plenty of snippets and images from around the world are creeping out, ahead of the big news.
Hyping the #BlackBerry10 hash tag we have RIM U.K.'s MD Rob Orr explaining the fundamentals of the phone and its ecosystem. While most are waiting to try the software and phones out, get a preview of the Super Bowl advert today? We'll have more video, images and feedback from the events as things unfold.
BlackBerry in the Big Apple
We'll have news here as RIM's big day kicks off. You can join in and watch a live stream of the event from this link. The event is kicking off with a look at all the other events going on around the world from Dubai to London to Jo'burg. Lots of talking heads highlighting their favorite features, and highlighting the global nature of RIM's reach and operations.
The main event is just to start.
Thorsten Heins takes to the stage and takes the opportunity to thank the hard work of all the staff at RIM (presumably not the ones he had to fire) to get to this point.
The first big news is that the company is changing its name from RIM to BlackBerry, to avoid confusion between the two names. Then with a countdown from the company's staff he unveiled the Z10 and the Q10 keyboard model, as demanded by many BB users.
Under the Hood
In use, the key feature of the user interface is that you can swipe apps on and off the screen, and they keep running, without pausing using Flow. Similarly, all your contacts social media updates can be viewed within the one app in the Hub, so new flipping between Facebook or Twitter to keep up with what someone is up to.
The keyboard is also pretty special, supporting multiple languages within, and allowing you to find punctuation, numbers and other characters just by swiping, rather than having to push a few extra buttons. From the demo it looks to hold up BlackBerry's boast of having the best keyboard in mobile.
BlackBerry Messenger has had an upgrade too for BB10 and now includes video calling, but not just that, you can also share the screen of your mobile with the caller. That's with its own native calling App, but shown off among the other apps on-screen was a peek at Skype as one of the 70,000 apps available.
The 4.2" 4G Z10 will go on-sale in the U.K. tomorrow, in Canada next week and in the U.S. on all major carriers for $199 on contract during the middle of March. The Q10 with its 3.1" screen will follow suite shortly after. There will be a wide range of official accessories for both from launch.