Taking Off, Over or A Last Bow?
Following reasonable launch successes in other parts of the world, the BB10 comes to its potentially biggest market, the U.S., later this month. AT&T are exclusively taking orders based on a two-year contract for $199.99. Orders will be delivered, or you can turn up at a store on 22 March.
The news has seen BBRY's stock shoot up around 7% today, trading close to $14, but still down from recent highs of around $18. That's due to mixed reports on sales in the Canada, the U.K. and other launch territories, where the news has been positive but not blockbuster.
Claiming fast 4G LTE support, the Z10 offers BlackBerry's revamped BB10 operating system, interface and services to put it on a par with ecosystems like iOS and Android, although naturally lagging in the app stakes due to its nascent nature and reticence of some (most recently Netflix) to develop for it.
Keeping the News Rolling
The launch will come just ahead of BlackBerry's fourth quarter and year-end results on 28 March, with all eyes focused on Z10 sales. It will be hard for the company to bury them among another device category or family, so we should get a clear picture then of the company's success in revitalizing the brand.
Will American users be lapping the Z10 up, or are users waiting for the BB-traditional keyboard device? Or, are they over the BlackBerry era and into their Androids or iOS devices too deep to move elsewhere? Certainly, the phone has plenty to offer with an all-touch keyboard for a modern and easy typing experience. The BlackBerry Z10 also features a high-resolution 4.2-inch display and an 8-megapixel camera that records 1080p HD video.
AT&T is also launching the new BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10 solution, which gives business and government customers with BlackBerry 10 and other smartphones secure access to work email, "behind the firewall" applications and data. Last week, BB was showing off its enterprise credentials in London, England with a 1,000 enterprise customers and developers in attendance at a day-long expo. Expect many more of these events to push BB10 and BES at business users.