BlackBerry 10 Release Date: Canada Gets Z10 On February 5

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The long-awaited BlackBerry Z10 will hit Canadian stores on Feb. 5, and will be available for $149 with a three-year contract, the company formerly known as RIM announced Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
The long-awaited BlackBerry Z10 will hit Canadian stores on Feb. 5, and will be available for $149 with a three-year contract, the company formerly known as RIM announced Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The long-awaited BlackBerry Z10 will hit Canadian stores on Feb. 5, and will be available for about $149 with a three-year contract, depending on the carrier, the company formerly known as RIM announced Tuesday.

That means Canadians will get their hands on the BlackBerry Z10 at least a month before Americans do, with the U.S. release date set tentatively for some time in March.

But U.K. customers will beat even Canadians to the punch — the BlackBerry Z10 goes on sale there on Jan. 31, just a day after the launch event.

PHOTOS: BLACKBERRY 10 LAUNCH

Rogers, Bell, Telus, Virgin, SaskTel, Koodo, and Fido are among the carrier partners, while Walmart, Future Shop, Best Buy, and The Source are some of the retail partners.

Canadian specific apps include offerings from the NHL, CBC, Tim Hortons, Air Canada, RBC, and ING Direct.

The price will likely make market analysts happy, as it is somewhat lower than what smartphone brands typically charge for a flagship device.

The company made the announcement Tuesday at the official launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system and smartphones at events in New York, Toronto and elsewhere around the world.

"I know what you're thinking — when can I get it?" CEO Thorsten Heins quipped as he announced the date, reflecting the frustration many BlackBerry users have felt over the repeated delays to the new BlackBerry phones.

RIM will be releasing the BlackBerry Q10 — a next-generation phone featuring its signature physical keyboard — sometime in April.

Research In Motion also announced it would be changing its name to BlackBerry.

The company also announced that celebrated singer Alicia Keys has been appointed its global creative director — a move sure to increase buzz around the phone rollout.

Keys will be working with app designers, content producers and developers in music and entertainment to develop new BlackBerry products.

With files from The Canadian Press

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It's hard to know what she'll bring to the boardroom table beyond her own fame — aside from saying sayonara to her slutty iPhone, Keys says she's use the BlackBerry Z10 to shoot music videos during tour stops that "capture sights, sounds, and fans of every city that I visit."

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@ SunnyFreeman : #RIM er #BlackBerry shares down nearly 5% on TSX despite seemingly successful launch. Investors unhappy about something? Just profit taking?

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Read more on release dates and pricing here (will be updated through the day)

The long-awaited BlackBerry Z10 will hit Canadian stores on Feb. 5, and will be available for 9 with a three-year contract, the company formerly known as RIM announced Tuesday.

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The event has formally wrapped and MacLeod and Bidulka take the stage to a standing ovation to close the Toronto launch.

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Apple can keep Feist. BlackBerry is upping its cool ante.

Grammy winner Alicia Keys is not only BlackBerry's new creative director but commercial star, and is launching the "Keep Moving Project" which she'll use to create films using BlackBerry 10 at the Super Bowl and her new world tour. The commercial also features Robert Rodriguez and author Neil Gaiman.

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Screengrab from 'Keep Moving' project video featuring Alicia Keys, Neil Gaiman, Robert Rodriguez

blackberry video

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Screengrab from 'Keep Moving' project video featuring Alicia Keys, Neil Gaiman, Robert Rodriguez

blackberry video

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@ SunnyFreeman : Alicia Keys to work closely with app designers, content creators, developers and ppl in music and entertainment. #BlackBerrry10

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alicia keys blackberry

@ SunnyFreeman : Alicia Keys ups cool factor "I was in a long term relationship with #BlackBerry ...kind of broke up with you for something with more bling."

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@ SunnyFreeman : #BlackBerrry10 has big music store, "there's no need to reboot your device," after you've loaded songs, Mallick says--- a swipe at Apple?

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@ SunnyFreeman : #Blackberry to create new position, global creative director appoints actor, philanthropist, Tweeter Alicia Keys!!!!

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@ SunnyFreeman : #BlackBerry #Z10 available in Canada next week! Feb. 5 at 9 on a 3-year contract.

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Read the whole review here:

As a replacement for older versions of BlackBerry OS, BB 10 is a huge step out of the dark ages of mobile OS design. It's something that finally feels intended for a modern, full-touch device, yet still offers the core productivity focus we think BBID-holders will like. Does it have mainstream appeal? Yes, it does, but we're not sure a great stock keyboard and some trick gestures are enough to unseat the current kings of mobile devices.

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Martyn Mallick, vice-president of global alliances and business development, takes to the stage to introduce some apps. He says the deliberate decision to launch a phone with more apps and social use has already paid off — it already has more than 70,000 applications available.

"With the momentum that we've built we will continue to see thousands of apps added every week," he says.

Key apps include Skype, Kindle, What'sApp, Facebook, AND Angry Birds.

A lack of apps for BlackBerry compared to Android and Apple devices had been a huge setback for the company and a big incentive for users to switch to competitors. (via Sunny Freeman)

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"Yes, we have Skype committed to BlackBerry 10 ... And yes we have Angry Birds committed to Blackberry 10."

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There are some pretty cool new media features on the BlackBerry 10 devices. The timeshift camera we already knew about but the BlackBerry story maker is a pretty awesome video editor.

A slight problem for RIM, errr BlackBerry, however, is that their share prices has fallen about four per cent since the event started, perhaps on news the new phones won't be available until March!

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@ SunnyFreeman : Loyal CrackBerry users... Are you ok with waiting for the #Z10 until March? And the keyboard device #Q10 in April? #BlackBerrry10

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@ SunnyFreeman : #BlackBerry showing off another leaked feature... the timeshift camera... there's also a built in photo editor http://t.co/w9ZgbytE

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BBM video chat

Screenshare

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@ SunnyFreeman : Leaks were right about many #BlackBerry10 details like BlackBerry Balance, name #Z10 but #RIMnamechange a shocker!

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BBM Video -- chat moves into video seamlessly

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New BlackBerry (hard not to call them RIM any more) showcases the Blackberry hub on their new devices. It is pretty innovative, lets you manage all your social profiles on one screen. It also pulls up profiles of your contacts and shows you what they've been saying on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.

They've moved on to an intuitive keyboard that has words flick up on screen as you type to save time and reduce mistakes. It's supposed to make it easier to delete, add hashtags, numbers, etc. AND recognizes various languages. Thorsten himself looks pretty impressed.

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This story will be updated..

The tech company behind the BlackBerry smartphone brand announced it would rename itself after its flagship product at the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 platform on Tuesday.

“It is one brand, it is one promise … From today on, we are BlackBerry everywhere in the world,” CEO Thorsten Heins told a New York audience.

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@ Ihnatko : Demo of Blackberry Flow, the mechanism for moving around. This is what I saw: it's VERY easy to work BB10 with one hand.

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BLACKBERRY 10 LAUNCH

BlackBerry 10 Launch - Jan. 30, 2013
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