A very interesting reality that we have learned is that many BlackBerry fans are addicted to the keyboard and want a BlackBerry device that has a keyboard. So, BlackBerry will finally be releasing the Q10, which is the first OS 10 BlackBerry that will offer a keyboard. The best description of it (for those who have not seen it) is to call it something between the look of the BlackBerry 9900 with a bit bigger screen and an edge to edge keyboard, with a splash of the look of the Z10 thrown in for good measure. It looks the way we would expect from a high-end BlackBerry.
So, while BlackBerry did well last quarter, the majority of its success was not from the release of the Z10 and BlackBerry OS 10. While the Z10 did contribute some to the success, the reality is that the older devices did well in a lot of places. Over and over again, we have heard many BlackBerry hardcore fans tell us that while they liked the direction of the Z10, they wanted the keyboard that the Q10 would offer. We believe that the Q10 will be more of an indication of the future of BlackBerry than the Z10 was.
However, it seems that many in the media are not even willing to give the new BlackBerry OS 10 a chance. They believe that it is all about iPhone and Android, and BlackBerry with its flashy look and very late OS 10 has no chance to resurrect itself; and we think they are wrong. Upon the release of the Q10, we think you will be able to look into the crystal ball and see the future of the BlackBerry, and we expect many to at least kick the tires.
The Q10 will be released in the months ahead, with the majority of the carriers already committing to pick this BlackBerry up to service their existing BlackBerry subscribers. Interestingly, however, only carriers in Canada and UK are either already taking pre-orders for it or have at least announced it. In the US, it is pretty much a given that AT&T will have the Q10 first and they have confirmed it, but it is not yet known if they will have it before the end of April. T-Mobile has apparently only committed to the Z10. Verizon and Sprint are both expected to offer the Q10, but there are no specifics on when this might happen.