BlackBerry 10: The Time is now

BlackBerry10 Launch 2013BlackBerry10 Launch 2013

“…and now the moment you have all been waiting for” this keeps going through my head as I watch the 500 or so BlackBerry fans converge on the Sandton Convention Center.

BlackBerry10 Launch 2013Fans. Fans are everywhere. “Its been a long time coming” says one man-in-a-suit who is acknowledged by his female-marketing-type companion with an approving “yes, we have been waiting” which is instantly followed by a must-be-techie who declares triumphantly  “this is going to rock” (yip – definitely a  techie).

Team BlackBerry is in da house.

As I look over the crowd I get it. The people in this room ARE BlackBerry. Its everyone. No matter what you do, no matter who you are, there is a BlackBerry for you.

And  this is exactly what RIM has done with BlackBerry 10. Let me explain:

Firstly, RIM is no longer. RIM has rebranded at BlackBerry. As Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry President & CEO, said in his keynote “Around the world, we are known as BlackBerry, They call us BlackBerry, So we are BlackBerry”.

BlackBerry has finally lifted the veil and revealed the Z10 (touchscreen device) and Q10 (full QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen). Both devices running BlackBerry10. These devices have finally bridged that gap for its customers who want a rich experience, with full colour, over 70 000 apps, a browser experience that allows you to do more than just read an online newspaper but is rich with multimedia and full HTML5.

BlackBerry10 is about being connected to your world with email, BBM, Twitter, LinkedIN, Facebook all landing up neatly into your messaging Hub that just a finger swipe away.

The BIS Question

I spoke to Alexandra Zagury, MD for South and Southern Africa to get insights into the status of BIS – the question on everyone’s lips.

I can confidently confirm that anyone with a current BIS package can rest assured that BIS for BlackBerry 7 is not going anywhere. BIS tomorrow morning will still work.  What is still uncertain is how the networks will position the new BlackBerry10. This has not been announced by the networks as yet.

Alexandra Zagury states that “We listened to our customers and are providing a premium experience, on a premium device at the high-end of the market. Yes, there will be a change to BIS”

Personally, I am not sure why the shock and horror – the other high end phones have no BIS. You simply load up a data package and away you go… #justsaying

“In this country Data prices need to evolve and thats what beautiful about our strategy. Our portfolio and the way data services will evolved are going in tandem” Alexandra explains.

Speaking of “portfolio”, I asked Edel Ebbs, EVP Operations & Corporate Strategy at BlackBerry that surely BlackBerry is not just about the Z10 device.

Edel confirms that there are six more phones planned which will hit every price bracket this will include a tablet strategy “but not going to be called Playbook anymore”

However that is a story for another day as more details will become available…

The Time is now

Now is the time to revel in what BlackBerry has achieved. How far they have come as a company and how much they have changed. It is clear they are back in the driving seat and have listened to their customers and delivered on everything they promised – and even more.

You have to hold the device in your hands and then you fully appreciate how revolutionary the change is from what we knew BlackBerry to be to what BlackBerry is now.

As I am writing this a song is playing in my head which could not be more appropriate: Its a Bon Jovi song called “Welcome to Wherever you are

The Chorus goes:

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are

The entire BlackBerry team should take a bow.

The corner has been turned.

Its a new playing field now and the fans are loving it !

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