New BlackBerry phone launched in US in key test

March 22, 2013
The new touchscreen Z10 Blackberry device is highlighted at its launch in central London on January 30, 2013. The newest version of the BlackBerry smartphone went on sale in the United States on Friday in what is seen as a crucial test for the struggling tech firm.

The newest version of the BlackBerry smartphone went on sale in the United States on Friday in what is seen as a crucial test for the struggling tech firm.

The Z10, the first phone using the new BlackBerry 10 platform, is being sold through T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and at US retailer Best Buy.

The new platform is seen as the Canadian firm's last opportunity to regain ground in a market dominated by Google's Android and Apple's iOS operating systems.

The touchscreen Z10 was already launched in other markets, including Britain, Australia and Indonesia. The company also plans a model with a physical keyboard called Q10.

While the launch lacked the crowds seen for the iPhone, an event held in New York's Times Square and recounted on the BlackBerry blog showed interest among US customers to be the first to get the device just after midnight.

"Here's Manny, an eager fan who 'just had to be the first' to get his hands on the new BlackBerry Z10 in the ," said a caption for a picture on the blog. "He was met with cheers from the crowd as he held up his newly activated device."

While the new device has received generally positive reviews, analysts say it will be an uphill battle for BlackBerry, which has lost much of its market share.

According to research firm IDC, BlackBerry's global market share fell to 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, from 8.1 percent a year earlier.

Gartner analyst Van Baker said it will be difficult to recoup those losses.

"Although BB10 presents a modernized new platform based on touch technology, market conditions will make it extremely difficult for BlackBerry to rise above iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 platforms," Baker said in a blog post.

"In fact, Gartner predicts that through 2016, BlackBerry will achieve less than five percent worldwide market share."

BlackBerry said this week it has 100,000 apps for the BB10 platform, with 30,000 added in the past seven weeks.

"The response to the BlackBerry 10 platform and applications has been outstanding," said company spokesman Martyn Mallick.

"We constantly hear from developers that the BlackBerry 10 tools are easy to build with and that we provide opportunities for app differentiation that they do not see on other platforms."

The company also announced it had teamed with global music distributor Zimbalam to provide a platform for independent musicians who are BlackBerry customers.

Explore further: BlackBerry faces tough battle for business users

Related Stories

BlackBerry faces tough battle for business users

February 2, 2013

BlackBerry's new smartphone platform launched this week faces an uphill battle winning back corporate and government users who helped spawn the "crackberry" culture, analysts say.

Home Depot calls up iPhone, drops BlackBerry

February 12, 2013

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry was handed a crushing setback for its glitzy new handsets when its major customer Home Depot confirmed on Tuesday it was switching to Apple's iPhones.

New BlackBerry coming to the US public on March 22

March 11, 2013

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion will begin selling its new touchscreen smartphone to U.S. consumers with AT&T on March 22. The release will come several weeks after RIM launched the much-delayed devices elsewhere.

BlackBerry Z10 launched in Indonesia

March 15, 2013

BlackBerry on Friday launched its new Z10 smartphone in Indonesia, the company's third-largest market as it rapidly loses ground elsewhere to rivals such as Apple and Samsung.

BlackBerry boss has swipe at Apple as Z10 hits stores

March 19, 2013

The head of BlackBerry has taken a swipe at Apple, saying the iPhone's operating system was outdated, while promising thousands of new apps as it prepares to launch its Z10 model in Australia and the US.

Recommended for you

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.