BlackBerry Z10 to launch in UK first

BlackBerry Z10 to launch in UK first

The first two new handsets off the production line from BlackBerry are the Z10 and Q10, which will both run the new BB10 operating system that has been created by the Canadian firm.

While the new OS took a long time to make it to the market, it seems the handsets will be different, with the Z10 being made available in the UK today.

The 4.2-inch full touch-screen model will then be made available in Canada and the UAE in February, before hitting the US in March.

Speaking at the launch event in New York, president and chief executive Thorsten Heins, said: "Two years ago we had to make a very serious decision.

"Adopt someone else's platform or build a whole new one from ground up for Blackberry. And we made the tough call to go it alone.

"Bringing an entirely new platform to the market and ushering this company through a really difficult transition took careful planning and we absolutely knew it was risky."

The device will be available through Vodafone, O2 and EE and boasts 4G connectivity, which should come into its own once the current Ofcom spectrum bidding process is completed and the UK has wider access to the technology.

Blackberry's Z10 is the first smartphone it has made featuring a touch-screen keyboard, but it has been working hard to come up with specifications that attract those who like the idea of physical buttons.

These include the ability for the device to "learn" the words and phrases users type most often to then suggest them above the keyboard, which can easily be flicked into place.

According to the company, the new devices are "elegant and distinctive" and are the fastest and most-advanced BlackBerry smartphones to be produced.

"They feature 1.5 Ghz dual core processors with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and an expandable memory card slot. They include the latest enhancements in high density pixel and screen technology to display clear, sharp, and incredibly vivid images."

As for the Q10, which features a physical keypad, BlackBerry expects the first global carriers to launch it in April.