BlackBerry 10 On Sale In U.S.: Crunch Time

BlackBerry Z10 can be purchased in the U.S. for the first time starting Friday. BlackBerry's road to success -- or failure -- begins anew.

Eric Zeman, Contributor

March 22, 2013

3 Min Read

BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS

BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS

BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

Those who are gunning for BlackBerry's comeback bid likely have today marked in their calendars. Today, BlackBerry 10 officially launches in the U.S. The BlackBerry Z10, the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone, is (finally) available for purchase. The Z10 can be picked up online or in AT&T stores for $199 with a contract.

A slab-style touchscreen smartphone, the Z10 has a 4.2-inch LCD screen with 1280 x 768 pixels, making it capable of displaying HD content. It includes a dual-core 1.5-GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of built-in storage. It has an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture. The camera application includes a new feature called TimeShift, which lets users select from a range of photos to get the best one. The Z10 also includes user-facing 2-megapixel camera that can record 720p HD video. The Z10 supports NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. All variants of the Z10 support LTE for their respective carrier. Here are the Z10's best features.

The Z10 runs BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry's brand new operating system. BlackBerry 10 uses gesture-based actions to move from screen to screen and features the BlackBerry Hub, which brings together all communications avenues into a single master inbox. The operating system has a new HTML5 browser, Story Maker for creating videos and business-friendly features such as BlackBerry Safeguard and Balance. The new BlackBerry Messenger application for BB10 includes the same IM features as before, but is now able to conduct free two-way video chats and VoIP-based phone calls. The app can also be used to share screens between two BB10 devices.

[ Is BlackBerry too little, too late? Read Gartner Skeptical On Blackberry Comeback. ]

If AT&T is not your carrier of choice, the Z10 will also soon be available from T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Retail sales begin in T-Mobile stores March 27, and in Verizon Wireless stores March 28. Both are charging $199 for the Z10 with a new contract. Alternately, those who'd rather purchase the device from T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless online may do so here or here, respectively.

AT&T and T-Mobile are selling the black version of the Z10. Verizon Wireless is the only carrier offering both the black version and white version, which is a Verizon exclusive. Best Buy is also selling the Z10 for all three of these carriers.

Sprint subscribers are out of luck -- Sprint will not be selling the Z10. Instead, Sprint wants to offer the other BlackBerry 10 smartphone, the Q10. The Q10 reduces the size of the screen and adds a physical QWERTY keyboard. It is QWERTY keyboards that helped make BlackBerrys popular with business users. The Q10 is not expected to arrive until later this year, and pricing has not been revealed.

The success of the Z10 is critical for BlackBerry. Without it, its fledgling operating system, BlackBerry 10, might never truly get off the ground. Analysts have offered varied outlooks for the Z10 and BB10. Gartner, for example, doesn't think BB10 will earn more than 5% of the smartphone market in the next three years. It also cautions enterprises to hold off making any investments in BB10 or BlackBerry Enterprise Services 10 until it's clear the new platform will succeed.

BlackBerry's road to success -- or failure -- begins anew today. Are you buying a Z10?

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About the Author(s)

Eric Zeman


Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies.

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