BlackBerry Q10: Does anyone really want a smartphone with a keyboard?

BlackBerry Q10: Does anyone really want a smartphone with a keyboard?

Last week BlackBerry announced the Z10 and the Q10, their two debut smartphone models running their new BB10 operating system.

The one that looks like an iPhone, the Z10, was available in stores immediately, and feedback one week on suggesting it is enjoying good sales

They one that looks like a traditional BlackBerry with a physical keyboard, the Q10, is available at a later date - suggested as May or June. 

At first glance, making a new BlackBerry model with a physical keyboard is a no-brainer. If you ask faithful BlackBerry users what they love best about their phone, it’s the keyboard and how it allows them to process their email quickly on the move.

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Brand Wars: Why the mobile networks are smart to stick with BlackBerry and why Windows Phone can't win

Brand Wars: Why the mobile networks are smart to stick with BlackBerry and why Windows Phone can't win

In a smartphone platform market dominated by iOS and Android, it's a fun game to speculate which challenger platform could succeed in establishing itself as the credible third platform. Windows Phone and BlackBerry are the two favorites, but there is also speculation that Samsung may build their own platform, or that Amazon may enter the smartphone category following their entry into tablet space.

Indeed some pundits argue that these challengers need not bother as there is no room for a third platform in the smartphone market.

For the network operators, they need to make a careful choice about which challenger platform(s) they stock and promote to their customers.

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5 Key mobile pricing trends to watch out for in 2013

5 Key mobile pricing trends to watch out for in 2013

We’re off and running for another year of rapid evolution in the mobile space, and I'm expecting to see a lot of disruption in mobile tariff pricing.

Here are the 5 key mobile pricing trends I’m expecting to play out in the UK and other mature mobile markets during 2013.

1. Tariffs based on data ladders, not voice ladders

We’ve already seen this trend emerge in the UK during 2012, with Vodafone and Orange following O2’s lead in offering unlimited voice and text allowances for their flagship smartphone tariffs, then tiering these tariffs via data volume allowances - usually 1GB, 2GB and 3GB options.

I can see this trend continuing in 2013, but with a further stretch of the data tiers, say to 1GB, 5GB and 10GB. 

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Dressing appropriately for the Christmas season

I expect Microsoft had their fingers crossed this Christmas hoping many UK consumers upgraded their home computers to Windows 8 during the holiday period. Better still, there was a good chance many people might use the Windows 8 launch as a good reason to buy themselves a new laptop with a touchscreen form factor so they can receive the full Windows 8 touch / keyboard experience.

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What makes a happy mobile network customer?

Ofcom, the UK’s media and telco regulator, conduct an annual review of customer satisfaction experienced by UK consumers of mobile, fixed and mobile telecommunication services. The most recent results came out earlier this month.

It’s no surprise that O2 topped the latest survey with a score of 81% overall satisfaction. O2‘s strong result is consistent with other customer satisfaction surveys conducted by Which? magazine and the UK National Customer Satisfaction Index

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