Research in Motion to launch first handset for seven months this week
RIM will this week unveil its first BlackBerry handset since May 2012, and according to sources close to the firm the device is its “best yet”.
The Canadian manufacturer will unveil the BlackBerry Z10 – the first handset to run on its new BlackBerry 10 operating system (BB10) – at a press conference scheduled for this Wednesday (January 30).
RIM confirmed this month it will launch six handsets in total during 2013, catering for all ends of the market.
However, it is thought that only the ‘flagship’ BlackBerry Z10 device will be unveiled at the event.
One distribution source close to the manufacturer told Mobile News: “The Z10 is easily the best device that RIM has produced in recent years – arguably ever.
“I have tested the device at length and it’s a very impressive piece of kit with the functionality to compete against anyone in the high end of the market. It’s a huge improvement.”
Another source added: “No one can excuse RIM for the long delays around BB10 and the lack of handsets but, having used it, I believe most existing users, and more importantly those who don’t use BlackBerry, will be very impressed. ”
Our sources have confirmed a number of specifications and features that will be included on the new handset.
The Z10 is an entirely touch device – therefore it will not feature RIM’s familiar QWERTY keyboard.
A QWERTY version is, however, expected to be released later in the year.
The handset will feature a 4.2-inch display – 0.6 inches smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S III’s screen and 0.2 inches bigger than the Apple iPhone 5’s display.
It will also use a micro SIM card and include a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm (Snapdragon) processor.
RIM has also made a number of “significant” upgrades on its previous flagship handset, the Bold 9900, which launched 18 months ago.
Examples of these enhancements include increasing the camera resolution from five megapixels to eight and the inclusion of a two-megapixel front-facing lens.
RIM has also doubled the capacity of internal memory to 16GB. Additional memory can be added, said to be up to 64GB, using a microSD card – which can now be inserted or removed without having to switch the device off first.
Improvements to battery life have also been touted – the Z10 will use a 1,800mAh battery which is said to provide double the talk time of the Bold 9900 at 11 hours.
RIM refused to confirm the accuracy of the information as we went to press.
A full report about the launch event and a first look at the new device will appear in the next issue of Mobile News, which comes out on February 6.