Blackberry10-launch-pic-635In an interesting turn of fate, Alicia Keys is now the new creative director of BlackBerry, formally Reasearch in Motion. This surprising move isn’t unheard of as other failing companies – Poloroid – has done this as a part of a last hurrah.

Aside from Creative Director Keys, BlackBerry launched their new hardware – the Z10 and Q10. The Z10, as expected, is the touchscreen phone and the Q10 has the full Querty keyboard, the same as BlackBerry phones of old. What was unexpected to me is that statement that the phones’ resolutions would not change moving forward. The screen resolution of the two phones is 1280 x 768 356PPI, which is the same as the Lumia 920.BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins stated that the resolutions would not be changed going forward and that all BlackBerry phones for the foreseeable future would have the same. I don’t understand why they would lock themselves into a commitment like that if they thought they had any future.

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 10.49.58 PMAnother surprising bit of news, the Z10 is being offered with a three-year contract through AT&T and Verizon. It’s only $200, but it’s a THREE-YEAR CONTRACT. In a world where a two-year contract is too long, I was shocked to hear they were requiring a three-year. The phones will be out of date before the contract expires.

One of the things BlackBerry has been known for in the past is BBM. I remember the pre-texting world when BBM began to make the concept of texting a reality. Now the entire cell phone world texts or video chats. So, how could BlackBerry evolve? They moved their BBM to video chatting. They also included screen sharing, which lets you share your phone’s screen with someone you are video chatting with. It’s a nice feature, but it’s not enough to keep them afloat.

BlackBerry was one of the first smart phone manufacturers in the market and it’s a little sad to see it on the verge of closing up shop.