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Tech

Tech Report: New BlackBerry Phones, OS Coming In March

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BlackBerry Z10 smartphone. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

BlackBerry Z10 smartphone. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— On Wednesday, BlackBerry announced the upcoming release of the Q10 and Z10, two new long-awaited BlackBerry phones coming to the United States in March.

I watched their impressive news conference, where they made the announcement, but thought to myself how it’s easy to give a good demo, but hard to impress critics.

I don’t have my own model yet, but my colleagues who have tested it aren’t coming away all that impressed. They liked the basic features and what they’re trying to accomplish, but have found glitches along the way.

Even though this seemed like good news for BlackBerry, I still think they’ve got a rough road ahead of them. The Windows Phone from Microsoft is getting rave reviews, but even they haven’t begun to penetrate the Apple iPhone-Google Android behemoth.

BlackBerry is attempting to carve out its own niche with a feature that separates business from personal, called BlackBerry Balance. The idea is that you have your business apps, business browser, and email, etc. Then with just a swipe of a screen and suddenly you’re in personal mode. This comes in handy especially for IT people so they can have the security that they need and employees get the privacy they need. It’s a brilliant idea.

On paper this looks like a great phone; it’s not an iPhone clone or an Android clone. On the other hand, if they’re not getting great reviews and phenomenal marketing, they’re still going to have a tough time. The phone, like most, will go through carriers and is expected to cost around $199 on contract.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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