Research In Motion (RIM) will launch at least six BlackBerry 10 smartphones during the course of this year. The BlackBerry maker will announce two high-end smartphones, an iPhone-like all touch and one with a QWERTY keyboard at its global event in New York on January 30 where it will unveil all the features of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The company then intends to launch products in the mid-end and entry-level segments later in the year.
“We intend over time as we transition the portfolio to have a full range of devices,” RIM CMO Frank Boulben told Fierce Wireless on the sidelines of ongoing CES event in Las Vegas. This would be a good strategy as it was earlier feared that the smartphone vendor won’t have devices to cover lower market segments.
During its last quarterly earnings call, CEO Thorsten Heins had said that the company continues to invest in its older BlackBerry 7 operating system and could launch new devices running on it as well. “There is a strong success with BB7 devices in the Asia Pac markets. And as you can see on the devices that we’re launching with BB10, you can probably get an idea of in which price points they fit. So no, we will support those on-boarding, entry-level smartphone markets. We will continue to support them with BlackBerry 7, and you might expect us to even build one of the other new products based on BlackBerry 7,” Heins said during the company’s third quarter earnings call.
The new smartphones RIM is launching on January 30 – the Z10 and X10 – are expected to run on dual-core processors and sport HD displays. The Z10, which is the all-touch phone, is reported to have a TI OMAP 4470 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, a 4.2-inch display with a resolution of 1280×768 pixels, 2GB of RAM, 16GB and 32GB memory options, a 8-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 1,800 mAh battery.
The new BlackBerry 10 operating system is also expected to let go of special BlackBerry data plans for regular consumers, who would be able to use regular data plans their carriers offer. RIM has also licensed camera software technology from Scalado to bring enhanced features for taking group shots among others. BlackBerry 10 will also have a unique onscreen keyboard for the all-touch phones with advanced text prediction, which RIM claims would make on-screen typing much simpler for its current user base which is used to a physical keyboard.