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Is "Made in Canada" Enough to Sell BlackBerry 10?

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All eyes are on Toronto today for Research In Motion's (now BlackBerry's) big reveal of the long-awaited, oft-delayed BlackBerry 10. Thirteen years after the first BlackBerry device was created, the wireless handheld device, now commonly known as a smartphone, has become an international phenomenon and essential tool for business and pleasure. According to Wikipedia, "the 200-millionth smartphone was shipped in September quarter of 2012." The BlackBerry Internet Service is available in 91 countries. As of last fall, there were 80-million subscribers to BlackBerry in the world.

A canuck success story, the legion of patriotic and loyal CrackBerry users in Canada still cling to the tool they've become addicted to. They root for the return of RIM, for the recognition of Canadian technological superiority, for the resurrection of the brand they have come to love.

But the devil is in the details.

Canadians are forced to put patriotism before their pocketbooks when considering the replacement of their current BlackBerry with the new one. Six-hundred dollars, what the device will cost according to the Globe and Mail, is quite steep for the working class. During these dark winter days, it can pose a dilemma: a week in a sunny Cuban all-inclusive resort or a new tech toy?

The biggest barrier could be the staggering cost of breaking an existing cell-phone contract. The shackles of long-term cellular phone contracts are still legal in Canada. While hundreds of fed-up Canadians swarmed the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission about a proposed code of conduct for the country's wireless industry, three-year contracts from cellphone companies have yet to be banned.

Even worse, signing up with a cellular conglomerate riddled with complaints makes the decision even harder. According to Canada's Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services 2011-2012 report, wireless services topped the complaints list. Rogers Communications, which has exclusive rights to the BlackBerry 10, complaints rose by a whopping 112 per cent. Ouch.

So while many Canadians are rooting for BlackBerry, it will be no surprise to see them rooting from the sidelines and not in line for the BlackBerry 10.

BlackBerry 10 Launch - Jan. 30, 2013
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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

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

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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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