After the global release on January 30th, Blackberry (formerly RIM) announced the launch of Blackberry 10 in India today. The event which was held at the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai today signalled the onset of the new global Blackberry range in India, which is one of their key markets.
Today’s event only focussed on the launch of the flagship Z10 smartphone. We have written about the device back when it launched globally. It comes with a 4.2 inch touchscreen which is capable of a 1280*768 display. There is an 8 MP camera in the back which is capable of recording in 1080p in addition to the front facing 2MP camera which has a resolution of 720p. Other highlights of the Z10 and the new Blackberry 10 OS include Flow, Timeshift and the new apps. In fact the release in India is largely geared towards making consumers aware of the fact that the Blackberry 10 has apps which would normally be available Android and iOS. Out of the 70,000 apps that are present currently on the BB10 platform, 9000 have been developed locally in India. The company also announced 30 new apps from services which are pretty popular in India on Android and iOS.
Here is a list:
PVR Tap ‘n’ Go
Ranbir Kapoor’s Fan app
Saregama World Space
Times of India
UTV Bollywood videos
Another feature of the BB 10 OS is the fact it can run Android apps via some sort of an emulator. However, the emulator is based on previous versions of Android which are now dated and the latest Android apps may not work really well with it.
The new BBM is a big deal when it comes to the BB 10. You can now share screenshots and make video/voice calls. Vivek Bhardwaj, Head of Software Portfolio at Blackberry demoed the video call functionality by calling Ranbir Kapoor, who happens to be the brand ambassador. The new Blackberry Hub is impressive and designed with the power user in mind. Centralization of social and communication apps into the hub in addition to ease of access to the hub is fantastic when it comes to user experience. The new OS has a lot of potential but I think the pricing will kill it. The Z10 is currently priced at Rs. 43,490 and that is quite a lot to pay for a new user experience and BBM. Decent Android phones are selling for Rs. 10,000 these days and give the user a better selection in terms of apps and features compared to the Z10. Even the iPhone is a better bet for the Indian consumer despite the heavy price point of the device. Blackberry is known for its enterprise friendliness but Samsung is catching up with it in that segment with Samsung Knox. The price point thus does not make a whole lot of sense.
Would you pay that much for a new Blackberry device? Share your thoughts with us.