The much awaited BlackBerry Z10, powered by BlackBerry’s all-new, built-from-the-ground-up BlackBerry10 will be launched in India on February 25. Going by past experience, where BlackBerry India has made available smartphones on the day of launch or very soon after, availability should be around the day of launch.
As Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor is the new brand ambassador for BlackBerry in India, we expect him to be present at the launch.
Clearly, in anticipation of the official launch, prices in the grey market, where the Z10 is available without bill and warranty, are falling. From Rs 75,000 a week ago, the price of the handset in the grey market has fallen to Rs 53,000.
Currently, the Z10 is available in the UK and some European markets, Canada and the UAE and it's interesting to note that the BlackBerry Z10 will be launched in India before the United States.
The BlackBerry Z10 is a full touchscreen phone running on BB10
As in other geographies, the BlackBerry Z10 should be available in the standard black as well as a white version. Early market reports from countries where the Z10 is on sale spoke about heavy demand for the white Z10.
Clarity about operator and retailer pricing, including EMI plans and exchange/ upgrade offers, should also be available on February 25 or soon after. While it's clear that the Z10 does not require a standard BlackBerry Data Plan (BIS/BES) going by what's happening in the UK and Canada, it remains to be seen what Indian operators do.
Aircel has already confirmed to Tech2.com that they would be offering the Z10, but there are strong market rumours that Vodafone would be a key launch partner for BlackBerry in India. Also, if the Z10 only requires a standard data plan there's the entire question of whether an operator has to support the device (as with earlier BlackBerry smartphones), or if you could use the Z10 on any Indian GSM operator.
One thing is clear, though. We would very surprised if BlackBerry World on the Z10 in India would include movies, music and TV shows (outright purchase and rentals), which we saw on the demo unit we handled during the Z10 launch on January 30 in New York. A BlackBerry Blog has clearly mentioned that initially this would be available only in the US, UK and Canada. But a whole lot of India specific applications are expected and we know BlackBerry's India Developer teams have been working overtime to get application developers from India on board and also to port existing Android applications to BlackBerry10.
We can announce here that from the Network18 stable, our key mobile applications will be available for BlackBerry10 on the day of launch, including Moneycontrol.com's popular Markets on Mobile, our Firstpost.com app as well as the Business Technology focused Biztech2.com app which will only be available on the BlackBerry platform.
Keep watching this space for details on these issues, pricing, plans and more, and of course an in-depth Tech2.com review of the BlackBerry Z10, soon after the India launch.
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