The new BlackBerrys — the touch-screen Z10 and touch screen-keyboard combo Q10 — launched in the United Kingdom last week and in Canada on Tuesday. The Z10 is expected to hit U.S. store shelves next month and the Q10 either in May or June.
“We are confident that BlackBerry is, and will continue to be, the best solution for corporations managing large smartphone deployments,” spokeswoman Amy McDowell told Reuters.
The new devices have many of the features consumers have come to expect in smartphones, such as touch screens, apps and multimedia, but there are drawbacks. The BlackBerry 10 is launching with 70,000 apps, compared with more than 700,000 apps for iPhone and Android phones.
Once the preferred device among businesses and government agencies, the BlackBerry fell out of favor because it had failed to keep up with the latest smartphone technology. According to Forbes, BlackBerry’s global smartphone market share is down to roughly 6 percent from a peak of 20 percent just three years ago.
Other companies that have dropped the BlackBerry include the energy services company Halliburton and government consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton. Government agencies that are parting ways include U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Home Depot’s store employees will continue to use about 60,000 Motorola smartphones.