BlackBerry, the company formerly known as RIM, today debuted two new smartphones alongside its long-awaited BB10 operating system and BlackBerry World storefront.
The Z10 appears quite similar to Apple’s iPhone and competing Android devices, sans a physical keyboard and with a large 4.2-inch screen.
The smartphone boasts a $199 price tag (with contract) and will be heading to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Key specs? A 1,280 x 768 display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus paired with 2GB RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, an 8MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera.
Meanwhile, the BlackBerry Q10 – which preserves the iconic physical keyboard – is equipped with a 3.1 inch, 330ppi display and a dual-core processor.
Analysts reacted with cautious optimism to the new BlackBerry devices, as the company will no doubt face an uphill battle trying to reclaim market share from Apple and Android.
“This puts them back in the game. The big blowaway factor for me is, you have a larger screen and you can do everything with one hand,” Jeffries analyst Peter Misek told Reuters.
“As expected, as delivered, solid device and presentation. I’m looking forward to how consumers react, and how much buzz it generates, and whether the enterprise embraces it.”
Gartner’s Michael Gartenberg expressed similar sentiments.
“RIM has clearly reinvented itself with a new set of devices and a platform. It’s definitely met the table stakes for many users,” he said.
“The challenge will be to keep the momentum going for developers and apps and leveraging the Blackberry brand. Blackberry delivered the first step but this is a marathon not a sprint.”