Research in Motion killed itself to save itself, relaunching on Wednesday as BlackBerry, named after its iconic range of smartphones, with a new much-awaited platform and devices.
In a move called by some as either the beginning or the end of BlackBerry, the company launched new devices Z10 and Q10 based on its new BlackBerry 10 platform.
“We have redefined ourselves inside and out,” CEO Thorsten Heins said at launch in New York. “RIM becomes BlackBerry! It is one brand, it is one promise.”
Once a market leader in smartphones, BlackBerry lost the race to smarter phones from Apple and Samsung, even among its core businesses, corporate consumers.
The company’s future rides on Z10 — and Q10 (which comes with a physical keyboard) now.
New features include BlackBerry Hub, a window to everything on the phone, which allows access to apps without having to hit the home button.
Gesture-based navigation takes out anywhere in the phone with a swipe. The touch keyboard is designed to not let you miss the physical board, it’s the same in design.
The camera is much better, with the much talked about TimeShift application, which allows to capture multiple images in a click, and then select the best to store.
The map, however, is not much beyond turn-by-turn voice guided driving directions. It has no pedestrian option, according to the TechCrunch reviewer.
The devices launch in the UK immediately with staggered releases for the rest of the world — March in the US, but no time schedule for India, though.