RIM reinvented: BlackBerry 10 confirmed for 31 January launch
UK first, Canada in Feb, US in March
The newly rebranded BlackBerry (the Research in Motion moniker now tossed aside) finally fleshed out its plans for BlackBerry 10 – the firm's long-awaited response to iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8.
Unveiled by CEO Thorsten Heins in New York, the platform is to be split between a touchscreen device – the BlackBerry Z10 – and a keyboard enabled alternative, the BlackBerry Q10.
It's the 4.2-inch Z10 that will likely generate the most press, however, with the phone set to make its retail debut in the UK on 31 January, before launch in BlackBerry's home territory Canada in February and the US in March.
BlackBerry repeated its claim that 70,000 apps are set to be available for the devices from day one from BlackBerry World – which, according to Heins, is a record figure for the launch of an entirely new platform.
Much of those apps, however, appear to be have been coaxed over from rivals platforms. On the games front, Rovio is a notable backer, with all versions of Angry Birds released to date.
Indeed, taking to the stage at BlackBerry's London event (taking place at the same time), Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka revealed that the first 1.25 million copies of Angry Birds: Star Wars on BlackBerry 10 will be given away for free.
Gameloft, EA, Disney and Halfbrick are all also on board, bringing the likes of Asphalt 7, Where's My Water, Fruit Ninja and Plants vs. Zombies to the platform.
Exclusives, however, appear to be thin on the ground, with BlackBerry focusing on bringing apps consumers using rival phones already recognise to the table rather than securing any original content.
Somewhat bizarrely, BlackBerry also dedicated the last portion of its presentation to singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, who it was revealed is now the company's new global creative director.
Early reaction from investors has not been good, with stock falling from a pre-unveiling high by around 11 percent. Overall, RIM stock is down 6 percent for the day.
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