Business, Economics and Jobs

New BlackBerry launches in Canada, Americans get Z10 in mid-March (VIDEO)


BlackBerry president Thorsten Heins speaks at the BlackBerry 10 launch event at Pier 36 in Manhattan on January 30, 2013 in New York City. The new smartphone and mobile operating system is being launched simultaneously in six cities.


Mario Tama

Blackberry finally introduced its newest smartphone to the customers who’ve been there from the beginning, Canadians.

The company formerly known as Research in Motion released the Z10 in Canada today to much fanfare, trumpeting global sales and a loyal fan base as reasons the company is still a major player on the tech scene.

“We’re still selling seven million units by the quarter, so there still is a very loyal audience,” BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins told CBC Radio today.

“What also happened is that we went global. … We’re rocking in those markets.”

Where they don’t “rock” is at home and the United States, where Apple and Android are kings for today.

BlackBerry’s US customers are still waiting, too, with the Z10 launching there next month.

The phones debuted in the United Kingdom last week.

American customers can’t buy BlackBerry’s new phone because of a “rigid testing system” in place with cellular providers.

“We need to respect that,” Heins told The Associated Press. “Am I a bit disappointed? Yeah, I would be lying saying no. But it is what it is and we’re working with all our carrier partners to speed it up as much as we can.”

BlackBerry originated in Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario, as Research in Motion and dominated the cellphone market for years (they dumped the RIM name last week upon release of the Z10).

However, Apple’s iPhone soon took much of the press. Android’s operating system and cheaper phones from Samsung are now hotly pursuing Apple’s title.

Yet, selling the Z10 at home pushed BlackBerry stock up CND$16.61, taking the entire Toronto Stock Exchange on a wild ride.

The TSX’s information technology sector climbed 3.1 percent based on strong sales of BlackBerry in Canada and the UK.

More from GlobalPost: BlackBerry reveals Z10 after multiple setbacks