BlackBerry officially launched the BlackBerry 10 in a day-long event in Sydney today. What has been announced and where can you get one?
We’ve been waiting for BlackBerry 10 since May last year, and rather more urgently since the official worldwide launch in January. While we already have some idea of how the platform will evolve in the future, what’s being launched in Australia is essentially no different to what has happened elsewhere in the world.
Which models are on sale? Only the touch-only Z10 model is going on sale right now. The Q10, which has a physical keyboard, is being promised later this year, but no public launch date has been set.
Who will be selling it? Optus and Telstra. Optus has already announced its plans and is taking pre-orders to ship on March 25. Telstra hasn’t announced pricing yet, but will begin shipping a day later, on March 26. Vodafone locally isn’t a launch partner, but there have been hints it may add BlackBerry 10 devices later in the year.
Do I need a specific BlackBerry deal with my carrier? No. Unlike earlier BlackBerry generations, you don’t need to either connect to a workplace BES system or sign up for a BIS plan. Any plan with data and voice can be used with the phone. This has the benefit of making it easy to migrate, but the downside (for longtime BlackBerry enthusiasts) that you don’t get unlimited mail and browsing — that will come out of your data allowance. BES still has a major role to play for enterprise rollouts — it lets you use BlackBerry Balance, which makes it easy to ringfence personal and work data on the same device.
Does it run on 4G? Yes. Both the Optus and Telstra versions support those carriers’ LTE networks.
I’ve been living with the Z10 over the few days, and I’ll run a review later this week. You can also check out Luke’s review over at Gizmodo. We’ll update this post with any information that emerges during the launch proceedings; if you have questions, throw them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.