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BlackBerry Z10 Makes its Official U.S. Entrance

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 10:50am
Ben Munson

After a lengthy wait following the BlackBerry 10 event in January, the Z10 makes its debut in the U.S. today.

The Canadian OEM’s new all-touch flagship launched on AT&T’s network today. T-Mobile has confirmed it will hit its airwaves on March 26. Verizon has yet to announce a release date for its exclusive white Z10.

The company celebrated last night in New York with an invitation-only party featuring Janelle Monae and Ludacris.

Creative director Alicia Keys didn’t perform but managed to chime in on Twitter with a fairly grainy shot of an Austin sunset she took with her Z10.

The once-mighty, now struggling BlackBerry has bet heavily on the Z10, along with its QWERTY cousin Q10, and a totally reworked, gesture-based operating system. The Z10 has already been released in Canada, the UK and other countries.

The new BlackBerry 10 OS leverages features like the Hub notification center and its intuitive keyboard, which has garnered the most praise in reviews so far. Even Google’s Eric Schmidt admitted yesterday he still uses a BlackBerry because he’s never found a keyboard he loves more.

BB10 has also introduced Balance, a slick feature for keeping personal and work information separate and secure on a single device. The feature will be important for BlackBerry in retaining its core base of enterprise and government customers.

In anticipation CEO Thorsten Heins making the rounds, reiterating his opinions on Apple’s iPhone being outdated.

But the Z10 faces more competition than just Apple. Samsung last week launched its new Galaxy S 4 smartphone and promised an April release. HTC’s new well-received flagship, the One, will most likely see a U.S. release soon.

As of 9:44 a.m. CT, BlackBerry’s stock is up 2.5 percent.

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