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BlackBerry 10 event: RIM rebrands, the Q10, Z10, and everything you need to know

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Today, RIM announced its new BlackBerry 10 platform and Q10 and Z10 devices, and rebranded itself as BlackBerry. For the latest from the event, tune in to our liveblog, and get the latest updates below in a full Story Stream of all the essential news.

18 updates and 2067 comments below.

Mar 13 3:44p

Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Z10 goes on sale March 28th, pre-orders begin tomorrow

Verizon Wireless has filled us in on the rest of its BlackBerry 10 launch plans: it will begin selling the Z10 on March 28th in-stores and online, with pre-orders beginning tomorrow at 8AM ET. The carrier had previously announced plans to sell the Z10 and the keyboard-equipped Q10, but only today have we learned about its launch plans. Verizon won't be the first carrier in the United States to offer the BlackBerry 10 phone — AT&T recently revealed it would release the device on March 22nd —...

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Mar 11 4:50p

Sprint will still offer a full-touch BlackBerry model later this year

Though it signed up to offer the Q10, Sprint may have made bigger news for the BlackBerry 10 model it wouldn't be carrying: the full-touch Z10, which has generally gotten more buzz than its QWERTY-equipped counterpart since BlackBerry's launch event in January.

We can independently corroborate a report from AllThingsD this afternoon that Sprint does intend to carry a full-touch BlackBerry 10 phone in 2013 — but not until the second half the year. Our sources describe Sprint's model as "a...

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9:48a

AT&T to sell BlackBerry Z10 for $199.99 on March 22nd, pre-orders begin tomorrow

AT&T has just announced that it will offer the BlackBerry Z10 to customers on March 22nd for $199.99 with a two-year contract. The carrier plans to open up pre-orders tomorrow, March 12th. At $199.99, the BlackBerry 10-equipped phone will be going head-to-head with the iPhone 5 and top-end Android phones like the Galaxy S III. The price isn't a surprise, but some were hoping BlackBerry would attempt to woo customers with a lower price-point than the competition. Today's announcement matches...

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Mar 08 1:22a

BlackBerry Z10 rumored to make US debut on March 22nd with AT&T

We're still to hear official word about when the BlackBerry Z10 will launch in the US, but Bloomberg claims to have the details for one carrier, at least. According to two sources, AT&T will start selling the phone on March 22nd, though BlackBerry said it wouldn't comment on the rumor.

Verizon and T-Mobile are also set to offer the Z10 at some point, but Sprint will only carry the hardware keyboard-equipped Q10. While Bloomberg didn't mention a price for the Z10 on AT&T, Verizon has already...

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Mar 02 6:22p

Sprint confirms it won't offer the BlackBerry Z10, sticking solely with the Q10

Sprint has now confirmed that it will not be carrying the BlackBerry Z10, the first phone to run the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. Instead, the carrier will only offer the keyboard-equipped BlackBerry Q10. Mark Elliott, a spokesman for the carrier, told Bloomberg that "we aren’t saying there’s anything different about our customers... we think our customers will be happy with the QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen on the Q10."

The news was not wholly unexpected: Sprint drew a bit of...

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Jan 31 3:53a

BlackBerry Z10 on sale across the UK: here's where to buy one

BlackBerry’s new Z10 handset is going on sale in the UK today at Vodafone, O2, EE, Orange, T-Mobile, Carphone Warehouse, and Phones 4u. Pricing for the Z10 varies from carrier to carrier. O2 is offering the phone for free from £36 per month, while Vodafone is charging £69 on a £37 per month contract (or for free from £47 per month). EE — currently the UK's only LTE network — is typically pricey, charging £49.99 on a £41 per month contact. Orange and T-Mobile offer the phone for £29.99 and...

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Jan 30 6:00p

Why on Earth did BlackBerry hire Alicia Keys?

Step, if you will, into the shoes of Thorsten Heins. Your company is on the defensive, struggling for third place in one of the most bloodthirsty marketplaces there is. You've got just a few more chances to show consumers you're worth their money. Your back is to the wall. What do you do?

The answer, as we learned this morning, is to hire Alicia Keys as your new creative director. That's not all they did, of course. (There were a few new phones, if we recall correctly.) But the choice...

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5:24p

With major apps in the bag, Instagram could be BlackBerry's next big score

One of the surprising stories from today's BlackBerry 10 launch was just how many apps the newly-renamed company landed: over 70,000. More importantly, it managed to snag important, big-name apps like WhatsApp and Skype. It's an essential metric for BlackBerry — a lack of apps hobbled Windows Phone out of the gate and continues to keep users from switching. The story of how BlackBerry got the support of so many large development houses is a mix of tenacity, courtship, and perhaps a little bit...

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12:28p

BlackBerry Z10 'Smart Cover,' Bluetooth speaker, and auxiliary battery charger revealed

BlackBerry — formerly known as RIM — has just revealed its Z10 full-touch smartphone, and here at the launch event it has a few accessories for the new device under glass. Among a plethora of cases, the company has a nifty charger that includes a slot for a backup battery. The idea is that you'll be able to charge your phone and the backup battery at the same time, though we're told that you'll also be able to use the kit as a portable charger if for some reason you don't want to swap out...

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11:55a

Thorsten Heins says BlackBerry plans to upgrade 'all existing PlayBooks' to BB10

As part of a post-presentation Q&A, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins answered a question about RIM's future with tablets and whether the ill-fated PlayBook would be upgraded to BlackBerry 10. Fortunately for those who purchased the company's first tablet, the answer was affirmative. "Our plan is to upgrade all existing PlayBooks to BlackBerry 10," Heins said. As for future tablets, he was a little more cagey — it sounds like future plans will depend on how successful BlackBerry is with its...

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11:25a

BlackBerry Q10 hands-on

A touchscreen BlackBerry is nice, sure, but what defined Research In Motion's iconic brand (now known simply as "BlackBerry") is the portrait QWERTY keyboard. And here it is, the BlackBerry Q10. Unfortunately, we aren't able to play too much with the device; representatives are calling this a "controlled demo" and are being very strict with how much interaction we can have with it for now.

11:12a

BlackBerry announces Alicia Keys as 'Global Creative Director'

BlackBerry has announced a new position, Global Creative Director, and hired its own in-house celebrity to fill the role: Alicia Keys. Keys was apparently chosen for renewing her "long-term relationship" with BlackBerry after straying during its bling-less doldrums, as she illustrated with a long anecdote about her romance with the newly "fly" platform. Though Keys says she'll be working closely with BlackBerry developers and is "fascinated by technology," her role is more similar to that of...

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11:11a

The Verge Live: BlackBerry 10 launch day

It's a big day for the new BlackBerry, with two phones, a new platform, and a total company name change from RIM to BlackBerry. That's a lot to take in, but we're going to try — join David Pierce and Nilay Patel for a special live broadcast as they talk about all the new announcements and talk to Ross Miller and Vlad Savov direct from BlackBerry's events in New York and London. It all starts just as soon as the event wraps up, so stay tuned.

10:56a

BlackBerry Z10 review: a new life, or life support?

BlackBerry is about to enter the battle of its life, and as you'll see in my review of its new flagship phone, the Z10, it's using everything in its arsenal to win. Maybe win is the wrong word; perhaps victory for BlackBerry right now is something more like not losing everything. Because if you've been <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/21/2789676/rim-blackberry-mike-lazaridis-jim-balsillie-lost-empire/in/2427121" >following this story</a>, you know that everything is what's at stake. The company is coming back into the game with force, that much is clear. Its new touchscreen smartphone is the serious contender BlackBerry has been claiming it would be, packing in the specs, software prowess, and services to take on even the most entrenched players in the game. This isn't a feint or a half-step, it's a long bomb with all the blood, sweat, and tears behind it you would expect from a company that's lost a significant piece of its value (to say nothing of its market power) over the last handful of years. But there are those entrenched players, and consumers as well as enterprise customers have proved fickle in the face of changing technology. The fans have gone or are going — can the Z10 win them back? This isn't just about a single phone or a single OS, it's about BlackBerry's fight to stay afloat. Can the new phone along with BlackBerry 10 put the company back in play, or is this too little, too late? Read on for my full review and find out. Continue reading »

10:54a

BlackBerry Messenger adds integrated video chat, voice calls, and screen sharing

As part of revamping BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry is bringing support for video chat and voice calling to the popular app. Voice chat was expected after beta versions of BBM 7 included support for Wi-Fi calling. With video conferencing, clearly the company has its sights on existing apps lke Apple's FaceTime and Skype. Additionally, there's a new feature dubbed Screenshare that will let the person you're calling view everything on your BlackBerry's screen. Thorsten Heins claims it makes...

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10:53a

BlackBerry shows off some of its 70,000 new third-party apps, including Skype, Rdio, Kindle, and Whatsapp

As part of today's BlackBerry 10 unveiling, the company is giving us a lot more information on what to expect from the new platform and apps that will run on it. We heard last year that Facebook and Twitter would be ready on day one, but it looks like BlackBerry has a lot more to share — there are 70,000 BlackBerry "launch apps", including a pretty impressive list of high-profile releases. In fact, BlackBerry called it "the largest catalog of at-launch applications for any platform ever" at...

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10:29a

The BlackBerry Q10 is a QWERTY smartphone designed to compete in 2013

RIM (or, well, BlackBerry now) is taking the wraps off its reinvention today in New York City, showing off a new, modern set of software and hardware. But it hasn't lost the most beloved element of its past: the company's just announced the BlackBerry Q10, a new smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard that will be instantly familiar to anyone who's ever seen a BlackBerry before. Make no mistake, the Q10 is a thoroughly modern smartphone: it runs RIM's new BlackBerry 10 OS, and has a 3.1-inch,...

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10:28a

BlackBerry Z10 announced, launching mid-March in the US for $199.99

BlackBerry (formerly known as Research in Motion) has officially announced its first BlackBerry 10 device: the Z10. It could be one of BlackBerry's worst kept secrets — we've already seen the Z10 and the new OS leaked from plenty of angles — but the speculation and waiting is finally over. The Z10 is the company's first full-touch smartphone running the company's new operating system. The Wall Street Journal reports that the device will launch mid-March in the US, though individual carriers...

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10:26a

Research In Motion rebrands itself as BlackBerry

At today's BlackBerry 10 event, CEO Thorsten Heins announced that his company will no longer be known as Research In Motion. As of today, RIM is being rebranded as BlackBerry. "We have reinvented the company, and we want to represent this in our brand," Heins said. "One brand. One promise. Our customers use a BlackBerry, our employees work for BlackBerry, and our shareholders are owners of BlackBerry." In addition to the new branding, RIM is changing its stock symbols to reflect the change:...

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