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By MARK PRIGG
PUBLISHED: 17:59, 24 April 2013 | UPDATED: 19:08, 24 April 2013
Blackberry has unveiled the phone it hopes has one feature to differentiate it from the touchscreen competition – a QWERTY keyboard.
The Q10 will be available in the UK next week for £579, although is expected to be subsidised by major operators, and in the US next month.
Many say the handset is Blackberry’s last chance after the touchscreen version of the phone, called the Z10, failed to sell as well as the firm hoped.
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|Black or white? The Q10 handset, which goes on sale in the UK next week and the US next month, will be available in two colours, and has both a physical keyboard and a small touchscreen|
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Screen: 720×720 3.1″ (330 ppi) Super AMOLED touchscreen
OS: BlackBerry 10.1
Processor: Dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus
Storage: 16GB flash, expandable via microSD
Ports: Micro-USB, micro-HDMI, headphones
Camera: 8.0MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
Size: 4.71″ x 2.63″ x 0.41″ (119.6 x 66.8 x 10.35mm)
Weight:0.31 lbs (139 g)
A delay in selling the new BlackBerry has derailed the firm’s efforts to hang on to customers considering switching to the iPhone or a Google handset.
Although the BlackBerry has fallen behind rivals, many ‘power’ users have stayed loyal because they prefer a physical keyboard over the touch screen on the iPhone and most Android devices.
However, the initial reviews of the handset are not encouraging.
‘Anyone who doesn’t need a physical keyboard should skip it,’ said Cnet, while Ars Technica said ‘ For most buyers, though, it’s going to feel like a throwback, and we don’t mean that in a good way.’
In the UK, Selfridges will exclusively launch the new and highly anticipated BlackBerry Q10 in all its stores and online on Friday 26th April.
In a European exclusive, Selfridges and Selfridges.com will be the only place in Europe to purchase the BlackBerry Q10, for £579.99, in store and online until Monday 29th, when it will then be available nationwide.
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|BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins with the firm’s two handset, the Z10 touchscreen, left, and the Q10 with a keyboard (right)|
Julian Slim, Head of Home and Lifestyle at Selfridges said: ‘Following the very successful Z10 launch we are thrilled to be hosting the European Exclusive of the highly anticipated BlackBerry Q10.
‘This is the product all core BlackBerry users have been waiting for. We pride ourselves in being the destination for all the latest gadgets and technology and BlackBerry is no exception’.
Blackberry is bullish about the handset’s chances.
‘Built with precision and offering premium performance in a timeless design, the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone combines BlackBerry’s best physical keyboard and a touch screen with the power of the BlackBerry 10 platform,’ it says.
BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins believes the handsets will beat the iPhone, which makes up 38% of the installed base of smartphones in the US, against 5.9% for BlackBerry, Heins told the Associated Press agency that Apple lacked innovation and that the phone could not multitask:
‘It’s still the same,’ Heins said of the iPhone.
‘It is a sequential way to work and that’s not what people want today anymore. They want multitasking.’
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|The Blackberry Q10, the handset experts hope will save the firm as it battles Apple and Google|
‘The BlackBerry Q10 is, for the most part, exactly what we expected it to be: a Z10 with a smaller display and a physical keyboard. The Q10 is unquestionably the best phone with a keyboard on the market. However, given how weak the competition and demand there has become, we’re not sure cornering that market will move the needle very far in BlackBerry’s favor.
‘The BlackBerry Q10 is a great phone for QWERTY diehards and e-mail addicts, but anyone who doesn’t need a physical keyboard should skip it.’
The Q10 is the one you’ll see clenched in the fists of type-A personalities in Thomas Pink suits as they race through airports, chase down taxis, and eagerly await their skim lattes. These are the BlackBerry elite, and they are going to love this phone as soon as their IT department tells them it’s OK to. But if you’re not the typing type, and especially if you live for your apps and your photos, you’re better off sticking to the black rectangles with the bigger screens.
‘The Q10 is a very solid and well-built little phone, and it’s one of the few options available from any smartphone ecosystem for the physical keyboard holdouts. For most buyers, though, it’s going to feel like a throwback, and we don’t mean that in a good way.’
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