All times AEDST. Best enjoyed reading from the bottom up.
0320: In case it wasn't clear below, Keys actually joined Heins on stage to talk about her on-again-off-again love affair with BlackBerry. Her first proselytising exercise will be at the Super Bowl this Sunday, she says.
0318: Keys is going to work closely with BlackBerry to spread the word about BlackBerry 10 among fellow celebrities. So BlackBerry 10 is basing its business model on the Church of Scientology?
0313: Now that Alicia Keys is on board, BlackBerry can play this song when looking back over the last 10 years:
0312: BlackBerry is creating a new position: Global Creative Director. And the first appointee is the delightful Alicia Keys.
0311: BlackBerry 10 on the Z10 is being released in the UK today. Australian pricing will be revealed later today. Details on preording expected shortly. It is expected on all three major Australian telcos. UPDATE: it will only be available at launch with Optus and Telstra.
0310: Heins is now back on stage. "It's an entirely new way of thinking on an entirely new platform".
0305: The Z10 was shown twirling on the screen and it looked exactly like an iPhone 5.
0304: "BlackBerry World is now a one stop shop for apps, music, TV and movies." About time!
0302: "We have Skype, SAP, Amazon Kindle, What'sApp and, yes, we have Angry Birds on BlackBerry 10." That seriously was said one minute after the below message.
0301: 70,000 apps are currently available on BlackBerry 10. This is the time when Angry Birds is mentioned.
0300: BlackBerry World will have music from all the major labels and movies and TV from all the major studios, claims Heins.
0255: Almost one hour in and the market is not responding well to the BlackBerry 10 launch. Shares in Research In Motion (they haven't updated the ticker code yet) have dropped 82 cents or around 5.25 per cent to $14.82
0253: Very precursory camera demonstration: the Z10 has a time shift feature whereby it records images over 10 seconds and you can then choose which part of the recording provides the best image. There's also a pre-installed picture editor for replicating Instagram filters.
0252: The Z10 is also available in white.
0251: BlackBerry 10 includes BBM Video Call, in which two BlackBerry users can hold a video call together. That part is exactly the same as FaceTime, but with Video Call, as Bhardwaj shows, two users on a call can share content across the connection without interrupting the phone call. In the demonstration, images were shared between London and New York during the Video Call.
0246: Example of terrible banter:
Bhardwaj: I haven't had much free time recently.
Heins: Join the club (laughing)
0245: The typing and autocorrect on the full touch Z10 is outstanding, according to Bhardwaj's demonstration. Of course, the phrases he used as examples were pre-planned, but if the reality is anything like the presentation, it is far superior to any other full touch phone.
0240: One of the good features of Hub is autopopulation of Contact fields. Assuming you log into the Hub with Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, Hub will find all the details from those sites and automatically make you a contact card. One of my pet hates is how tedious it is to set up Contacts in iOS. From this demonstration, it's clear that the BlackBerry Red Light hasn't been discontinued - I hated that light when I was a BlackBerry user.
0236: With BlackBerry Hub, Bhardwaj demonstrated, you can merge and filter all your messages, social media, emails and notifications into one place for "engagements". On the left of the screen are icons representing where the message has come from and there's a nice, clean look to the Hub. Throughout this presentation, Heins and Bhardwaj are sharing some terrible gags, by the way.
0233: BlackBerry Flow's "real time multitasking" is now being demonstrated. It is being pointed out to us that as you swipe between apps using Flow, it is not pausing each app as you move out of it. "Nothing's paused, nothing's compromised, it continues to operate," says Vivek Bhardwaj from the renamed BlackBerry.
0232: The Q10 has a "glass weave material" on the back that is exclusive to BlackBerry.
0231: The Z10 is a full touchscreen while the Q10 has a QWERTY keyboard.
0230: The reveal of the new handsets is a little clunky: the Z10 and Q10 handsets rose from the floor on a pedestal.
0226: BIG NEWS: "From this day forth", Heins declares, "RIM will become BlackBerry - from today on, we are BlackBerry everywhere in the world". Great move by Heins to rebrand the old Research In Motion (the company) to simply 'BlackBerry'.
0226: After period of "brutal honesty" RIM has a new leadership team that has "transformed [the company] inside and out".
0225: For those playing Buzzword Bingo at home, 'Ecosystem' was 23 minutes in.
0225: Heins now saying that BlackBerry made "the tough decision to go it alone" when, two years ago, RIM flirted with using a third party platform.
0224: How does BlackBerry 10 go beyond expectations? Secure, reliable, focus on content and apps; answers Heins.
0220: Who is BlackBerry 10 designed for? Heins says these people are "Hyper-connected socially" and they "like getting things done" while being "personal and professional".
"We will soon give you more ways to connect your mobile experiences not just to other people but the whole world around you," Heins says.
0218: Heins thanks RIM's employees for their accomplishment. I'd thank the customers for sticking with them.
0217: THIS IS BLACKBERRY 10! RIM CEO and president Thorsten Heins is now on stage addressing the cities mentioned below. "For all of our employees watching around the world, we have been on a journey of transformation, from mobile communication to mobile computing," he says. "It's been the most challenghing year of my life to date, but it's also been the most exhilarating. It's the best opportunity I've had in my life to date."
0215: This is a very multicultural launch: a southeast Asian family can't wait to own it, Texan rapper Lil E is wearing a BlackBerry t-shirt in the studio while singing "no sleep till BlackBerry 10", and now "CrackBerry Kevin", the only hipster still using a BlackBerry, is now telling us about how he refused to cut his hair until BlackBerry 10 was released. Around 12 months ago, Apple was criticised by media, including this journalist, for its monocultural presentation for the now non-existant new iPad.
0214: RIM developers have been to 44 cities in every continent, except Antarctica (mispronounced) while building BlackBerry 10. "There's a huge wave of support for BlackBerry 10 among developers," says a RIM developer Alex Saunders. "Thank you and thank you again."
0212: Join the conversation with the hashtag #BlackBerry10. Props to RIM for keeping it simple.
0208: Simone Heng in the Middle East works for a radio station and she keeps running and she wants her BlackBerry to keep running. That's all you need to know about the vox pops with RIM employees and customers now on the screen.
0205: The show begins with a brief slide show looking at how the new interface will re-invent, re-design and re-energise BlackBerry. We are now being shown audiences in London, Dubai, Toronto, Paris, Johannesburg and New York. The Toronto crowd was definitely the most excited and animated. Considering RIM's head office is in Waterloo, also in Ontario, I assume this launch coud be the last roll of the dice for that province's economy.
0200: Crowd being asked to take seats...
0140: Some good news for RIM! Expectation of something special has hit Tepid: RIM's share price is up almost $1 in early trading. That's a 5.75 per cent jump in 40 minutes, compared to an 88.6 per cent decline over the past four years.
0135: The wait is almost over - only 25 minutes to go. Here are some stats furnished by Gartner projecting some bleak years ahead for BlackBerry should it not turn things around:
Projected Worldwide Smartphone Sales by OS for 2013 and 2016
Android 700 million ---- 1 billion
iOS 180 million --- 266 million
Windows 44 million ---- 207 million
BlackBerry 31 million ---- 23 million
0112: Geoff Quattromani is at the launch and he just Tweeted this image. I'm reprinting it with permission as I don't want to be like, or upset, Fairfax Limited...
0105: In preparation for this launch, I spoke with several longterm BlackBerry users from around the world to find out their thoughts.
1238: I've added a Storify at the bottom of this web page so you can follow what other people are saying about the BlackBerry 10 launch. Spoiler Alert: Walt Mossberg prefers Apple.
1225: I'm unsure if buying the promoted Tweet on the day of your biggest ever company announcement is a sign of confidence or nervousness:
Also, although this Tweet is showing up as the promoted Tweet now, it was clearly sent last Friday.
1220: Here is the placeholder currently on Research In Motion's US website:
Some terrible pseudo-funky music is being played in the background and there is no need for hypen in the first and third of RIM's 'Re-adjectives'.
1215: It's now just under two hours until Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins steps forth in New York City to officially launch BlackBerry 10. This new operating system for new BlackBerry handsets, supported by the new BlackBerry World (replacing the old App World) is widely viewed as a 'last throw of the dice' for BlackBerry.
After revolutionising the smartphone with its mobile email service in the early Naughties, RIM stuttered through the late 2000s and has been hemorrhaging during the 2010s. In mid-2008, Research In Motion had a share price of just under US $145. It is currently trading at $15.66, having dipped as low as $6.22 over the last 12 months.
Wednesday: Current.com.au will be covering the long-awaited launch of Research In Motion's BlackBerry 10 operating system/platform/devices tonight, followed by the Australian-centric briefing tomorrow morning.
Live coverage of the launch will start just before 2am in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory; 1:30am in South Australia; 1am in Queensland; 12:30pm in the Northern Territory and 11pm (Wednesday night) in Western Australia.
Following this global launch, we'll then be reporting live from Research In Motion's Australian-focused briefing, due to start at 8:30am (New South Wales time).
Current and former BlackBerry users and invited to contact us to share their story.