First BlackBerry Z10 handsets available in the UK tomorrow

Alex Walls
January 30, 2013

The first BlackBerry Z10 handsets will be available in the UK tomorrow.

The company formerly known as Research In Motion said at its launch today that its new Z10 handsets running BlackBerry 10 would be available in the United Kingdom tomorrow, ahead of the rest of the world.

The handsets would be available on pay monthly contracts and pre-pay plans from Everything Everywhere, O2, Vodafone, Phones 4u, BT, 3UK and the Carphone Warehouse, the company said.

Phones 4u said today it was the first retailer to offer the white Z10 model, with handsets on sale online at 9am and in all stores from tomorrow, free from £36 a month on contract on a choice of networks.   The company’s launch event also offered the chance to win a 64GB BlackBerry Playbook tablet.

Z10 smartphones would be available fully subsidized on competitive monthly pay contracts, with price points varying according to carriers and partners, BlackBerry said.

It would be available in the United States in February for $149.99 on a three year contract, it said, and on most carriers in March, with pre-registration announced today.

Apps galore

The newly re-named BlackBerry also said its new operating system would launch with 70,000 apps, and the company hoped to add thousands per week.

Its Port-A-Thons must have been successful then, if only in terms of sheer volume.   But quality looks like it was also a factor, with BlackBerry (RIM’s new consolidated brand) announcing Skype, FourSquare, Angry Birds, Kindle and WhatsApp will be available on the new OS, BlackBerry 10.

The company previously said it had netted 15,000 apps in 38 hours during these Port-A-Thons and yesterday said it was bolstering its Music and Video service, with movies and TV shows on offer from major studios for UK, USA and Canadian customers only.


New features

BlackBerry announced a few new features for its new operating system.   These included Story Maker, a media tool which allows a semi-slideshow function where music, movies and text are spliced together, and which allows users can edit as they work.

Another new feature is the organisation tool Remember which is integrated into the BlackBerry Hub and lets users to keep on top of information, files and tasks by flagging messages, assigning due dates, taking voice notes, adding attachments and pulling in contacts.

BlackBerry Messenger also got an update with video chat enabled. This was demonstrated at the launch event, with a call from New York to London and it seemed to go smoothly.


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