In a little over 24 hours, Research In Motion will be officially launching BlackBerry 10 from six cities across the globe (New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Johannesburg, and Dubai). This worldwide event marks the end of a 15 month journey for BlackBerry fans that began when RIM first announced BBX as their next generation OS. Over the last year and three months, many things have been changed, shared officially, and leaked unofficially about BlackBerry 10. The day before the unveiling, we look ahead at what to expect from the official launch event tomorrow.
The Devices, Z10 and X10
We know BlackBerry 10 will launch with two devices, an all touch and a QWERTY keyboard variant. The names of these two devices, however, is still not so concrete. The name Z10 has been floating around for weeks, and it’s also been featured in a couple of different leaks, which makes it likely that this is what RIM will end going with. How Thorsten ends up pronouncing the “Z” in Z10 is possibly one of the most anticipated parts of the keynote for native English speakers. Does he go with Zee to appease the U.S. market, or go with Zed and how every English, Canadian and Australian pronounces that specific letter? One more sleep until we find out.
The QWERTY device is a little trickier. The name X10 was suggested before, but we’ve never actually seen it anywhere. Some have even referred to this device as the N10 as well. We’ll know soon enough exactly what it will be called.
While both devices will be announced and shown, we have known for a while now that the Z10 will be the first available device, with the X10/N10/N-Series coming out in the following weeks. The Z10 has also been pictured in black and white, so don’t be too surprised to see those two colors displayed.
The BlackBerry 10 OS
BlackBerry 10’s official OS will have a ton of added functionality when you compare to what’s currently loaded on the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha. The full, robust OS will feature the BlackBerry Hub, BlackBerry Remember, Story Maker, native picture editor with filters, BBM Video Chat, and other goodies.
One of the things that I’m definitely surprised to not be including in what’s coming with the new BlackBerry 10 OS are Cinnamon Toasts. So far, everyone we've talked to with a BlackBerry 10 device hasn't seen these specific types of notifications, which leads us to believe either RIM is saving them (unlikely), or they simply weren't able to get them working well enough to be included in this first release of BlackBerry 10 (most likely). Either way, it's definitely a shame, but one can definitely understands why only features that work perfectly on the current device would be accepted.
BlackBerry Link Will Replace The Desktop Manager
With BlackBerry 10 coming to the forefront, a new way to connect our devices to our computers will also be available through BlackBerry Link. The new program will also be unveiled by RIM and by looks of it, it’s gonna be a pretty bad ass tool.
Apps, apps, and more apps
While odds are that Skype will not be coming to BlackBerry 10 right off the bat, we do expect some other major players to be involved in the launch and available in BlackBerry World right off the bat. Instagram, one of my personal favorites, will most likely be on there as Android port. RIM has promised around 70,000 apps in BlackBerry World by the 30th and 90% of the top 600 apps from iOS and Android's storefronts. We're very confident that they have met, and maybe even surpassed, that goal.
BlackBerry 10 on the PlayBook
There’s a small chance that RIM could give away more details about BlackBerry 10 on the PlayBook tomorrow. Because they have told us BlackBerry 10 wouldn’t launch on the PlayBook until after the official unveiling on the 30th, we don’t expect BB10 to be released for the PlayBook tomorrow or in the next few weeks, but if, some reason, it does, we wouldn’t be shocked either.
Carrier release dates, and prices
Along with getting all the details of the devices confirmed, we should also learn some details as to when we will be actually able to buy them from different carriers and for how much. We’ve known Canadian carriers are on board and will probably have them soon after. We even found out that Vodafone UK will be making these devices available for their customers tomorrow.
Here in the states, the only real tip we've gotten has come from T-Mobile, and it was frankly not good. They're delaying their release of BlackBerry 10 until March 27th because of their LTE network, their new subsidies plan and because that's also when they'll be getting other top tier devices as well.
We can only hope that Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint do not follow Magenta's timeline and we're able to get our Z10s a lot sooner.
Developers will get some love too
Also on the way, is another BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha update that will unlock the phone, Hub and Maps applications for developers. This update will essence make the Dev Alpha a fully functional device aside from the extra goodies that complete the OS. The BlackBerry 10 SDK will also see an update, which is always welcome.
It's going to be a ridiculously exciting couple of days and we're kicking it off today with our pre-launch webcast. One more day to go, people!