BlackBerry 10 and the BlackBerry Z10 were both unveiled three years ago today

BlackBerry 10 and the BlackBerry Z10 were both unveiled three years ago today
Earlier today, we passed along the words of a BlackBerry Senior Director who pretty much said to put a fork in BlackBerry 10, as it is done. BlackBerry CEO John Chen has basically been saying the same thing, although he has been a lot more diplomatic with his comments. BlackBerry 10 will be updated this year so that its government and enterprise users can continue to use the BlackBerry hardware they purchased. That includes the once heavily touted BlackBerry Passport.

It seems like it happened in another century, but it was just three years ago when BlackBerry 10 launched with high hopes coming from Waterloo. You might recall that the genesis of BlackBerry 10 started with RIM's purchase of software company QNX. RIM became enamored of the company's OS after using it for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Suddenly, there were rumors that the company would produce QNX powered Superphones. By October 2011, the BB X (BB10) name for the QNX OS was first bandied about.

On January 30th, 2013, the first BlackBerry 10 phone was unveiled. The BlackBerry Z10 was an "all-touch" model that was supposed to be the manufacturer's answer to the iPhone and surging Android handsets. The gesture based BB10 was the star of the show. But with only 70,000 apps available at launch, the Z10 would end up being a tough sell even though then CEO Thorsten Heins continued to announce positive sales news almost every day. But the truth was that the phone was not selling well and eventually the company had to take a huge write down to cover units collecting dust in the BlackBerry warehouse.

Despite the release of some well-received models like the BlackBerry Z30 and the Passport, the writing was on the wall when the new OS could not help BlackBerry pick up any traction in the global smartphone market. And while the platform will stick around for a few years to support those government agencies and companies that still use it, the focus is now on Android.

Three years ago today, BlackBerry executives thought that they had actually taken the first step toward a launch that would make BlackBerry's OS a worthy competitor to iOS and Android. Instead, it was the beginning of a three year countdown that resulted in the company turning to Google's open source OS as the only hope it has to become relevant again in the smartphone industry.

BlackBerry's first ad for BB10 and the BlackBerry Z10 was televised on February 3rd, 2013 during Super Bowl 47. You can get nostalgic by clicking on the video below.

source: BlackBerry

Related phones

  • Display 4.2" 768 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 1800 mAh(10h 3G talk time)



1. Rafishant

Posts: 398; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

It was a big dream for Thorsten Hiens and many other BB fans. People were expecting that this mobile OS might be one of the most popular and a huge success beside iOS and Android. But unfortunately, everything was ended up into disaster. BlackBerry wrote down $1 billion of Z10 the next quarter after its release. BB10 might be the last interesting thing to BlackBerry in handsets. I highly doubt they would success with Android. Chen is a software man and he incredibly diminished the size of this giant company. 2017 will be the end for BB handsets

9. Eraman

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

No no. There's something can change the game for BlackBerry. Its the security and privacy of the devices. And another thing, BlackBerry start using the best cameras ( Schneider kreuznach) for the next phones. And the android + the best style of phones. So its just a game of time. And then the world will know that the future is for the BlackBerry.

2. artificialintelligence

Posts: 166; Member since: Dec 05, 2015

Great phone horrible app support so much potential so little apps in app store you win some you lose some but you can't lose anymore when you jump to android smart move blackberry

3. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

It's sad, I never had any BB but I really wanted Z10 to succed but there were too many things that kept people from this phone, it was terrible design, average screen, camera but most important OS - I saw many people in stores that picked up that phone and they put it back after 30 seconds because it was too different from what they were used to. And it's a shame because it shows that we will probably have only 2 OS to choose because no one will risk cash in developing new one

4. scramasax

Posts: 45; Member since: Mar 07, 2015

It is very sad indeed... BB10 was and still is THE best OS in the world... It is not Blackberry s fault proper nor that of the developers who deserted the OS it is, as always, HUMAN DISMAL STUPIDITY to blame... RIP Blackberry.

7. Jason2k13

Posts: 1469; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

So if I and majority of people don't like BB OS it's our fault? You sir is an idiot. Nobody is to blame but Blackberry themselves. People buy what they want, not what Blackberry wants.

5. Derekjeter

Posts: 1531; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

When I had a BB storm and the first iPhone and the first android came out I kept my storm thinking that BB would come up with something great. It's sad that they wouldn't want to adapt to new ways.

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

BB10 is the very best OS on the planet (TO ME). It's a shame that things have gone the way they have for BB10 and that many people haven't even tried such an awesome OS. Hopefully, through the release of Android powered handsets, BlackBerry is able to keep their handset division afloat. I just hope that BB10 is in their future plans long term.

8. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

Happy third Birthday. BB10! I truly hope that such an incredible OS is in BlackBerry's plans long term.

10. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

I wanted to try BB10 when the Z10 came out but sadly LG took my attention with their optimus line, I personally think that the lack of apps killed 'em cause the interface looks awesome.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 22290; Member since: May 28, 2014

It was actually a combination of the lack of apps plus the lack of marketing on BlackBerry's part. Had they at least marketed the hell out of BB10 and pushed the fact that BB10 can run Android apps, and actually had people in stores and online tutorials on YouTube, etc, showing how easy it is to do so, we would most likely be looking at a different scenario here.

13. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Lack of apps, a killer flagship, and a dwindling market share. Chen has somewhat turned things around somewhat but I don't see it lasting too long.

12. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Blackberry needs to understand that the market is far different from the times where everyone had a Blackberry. Nowadays, the Blackberry name is a niche now compared to the more venerable Android and iOS offerings.

14. SameerNazir

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 04, 2015

BB took a good step by adopting android with its latest cell Priv, it has great design, hardware, specs bt they need to something abt that price, $923 in india, thats way too steep.

15. Rain017

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 11, 2014

i been a fan eversince curve 9370 up to now i was forced to moved to a different os because of the lack of innovation that blackberry has to offer back then. built quality is great, keyboard is perfect, the os is great. but in the world where innovations run faster than what im expecting i felt that i was left behind. in app department,selfie/front camera and faster os. i jumped from one os to another and stayed with android even up to now. what lacks blackberry 10 is not just the app but the nowadays features that bb10 always refuse to take. accept it or not, if you cant compete with the apps might as well create a device that has a great hardware camera,built quality,amazing unique hardware and software features, a great processor and compete by selling it on a cheaper price. But those stuff had been ignored. and blackberry has been contented with the things that they are good at "security" which is really nice to have. but not a necessity to all consumers. now im back with blackberry with my priv and the incorporation if bb messaging and email expertise made me could not ask for more. im still hoping that bb 10 can still produce a highend device with a midrange price. its not too late they just need to invest more in the hardware bb10 is a great os way better than windows10 and on par with android kitkat i hope they wont quit the os.

16. aipom

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 10, 2014

BB10 best os ever

17. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Definitely a better OS than android, shame people are always following trends.

18. we_you_me

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Still use and prefer BB10 phones....physical keyboards still better for big-thumbed men -young and old, who need to do quick and accurate typing -like answering the kids or wife on BBM. z30 onscreen keyboard is the one i still make the least mistakes with. Blackberry OS10 is awesome compared to iOS and Android - for what I need.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.