The CrackBerry nation is buzzing about the official launch of the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone — the first BlackBerry device committed to a fully gesture-based touchscreen. Reports have indicated that “not one line of code from the old BlackBerry operating system is present in BlackBerry 10.”
The company also announced that Alicia Keys has joined the team to pimp the handset in her new role as as their Global Creative Director. Miss Keys will be working closely with app developers, content creators and retailers to enhance entertainment consumption and distribution, according to Blackberry.
“Alicia Keys has come to BlackBerry because she believes in the product and technology, and subscribes to our overriding philosophy to ‘Keep Moving’: to empower people through mobile computing and communications,” said BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins.
“We are excited she will be bringing to us her enormous capabilities, as well as a vast network of relationships in the entertainment, social media and business communities, to help shape our brand and grow our business.”
Glomming onto the Grammy award winning singer/songwriter offers BlackBerry a fresh chance at drawing some credible attention to their long overdue re-designed and re-invented handset. Since the company has never been able to let go of "physical keys" on any of their devices — Alicia is a clever choice as a spokesmodel for the brand. Her BlackBerry 10 of choice is white if you must know.
The Q10 full qwerty keyboard model of the new device will be released in coming weeks, although no official launch date has been announced. With some 78 million people still using BlackBerry phones with tactile keyboards — upgrading to a completely re-imagined operating system could prove difficult for the technology challenged even with keys on board.
Even though the official smartphone bus left the station several years ago — BlackBerry is still hoping they can catch a ride to the big party on the back of Alicia Keys. The side-by-side comparisons with iPhone 5 are already underway with CNET leading the grand parade. Cellular carriers have not yet been announced for the Z10.
It should also be noted that up until January 25th, Alicia Keys was still tweeting using her trusted iPhone. Which begs the question — is this new BlackBerry relationship long term or just a temporary fling? I'll let the true CrackBerry faithful answer that one.
I sincerely wish BlackBerry the best of luck. They're going to need it.