Today was an exciting day at the BlackBerry Live keynote in Orlando. We brought you all the action live as it happened here on the Inside BlackBerry blogs, and our social media properties. But there are a few awesome things that you may have missed – so we’ve taken the time to collect all the highlights here in one post! Talk about efficiency.
Thorsten Heins, kicked off the day reflecting on the year behind us and the years ahead. It’s been a long journey, but BlackBerry has built a world-class executive team who successfully brought BlackBerry 10 to market. If you’re familiar with the BlackBerry 10 experience, you already know that it’s a truly mobile experience that’s designed to be fluid and keep you moving while on the go. We’ve come a long way since he took this very stage last year and his message is clear.
“BlackBerry is firing on all cylinders!”
Thorsten took a few minutes to talk about our rapidly growing app ecosystem with BlackBerry World now containing 120,000 BlackBerry 10 applications! The news and announcements flowed throughout the event with an epic crescendo (more on that later). From the announcement of BlackBerry 10.1 availability on the BlackBerry Z10, bringing with it the Skype app to the all-touch smartphone, to the release of U.S. availability information for the highly-coveted BlackBerry Q10 smartphone – there was no doubt that we are committed to this platform and to our customers.
To round out the hardware announcements, Thorsten stood on a glowing red stage to unveil the fun, youthful new BlackBerry Q5 smartphone to be available in select markets around the world. The QWERTY keyboard phone, also running BlackBerry 10, was met with cheers from the crowd of attendees.
The focus quickly shifted to our strength in mobile computing as the QNX Bentley Continental show-car rolled onto the stage. Thorsten joined Mark Rigley, of QNX, in the passenger seat and delighted the crowd with a BBM Video call to Vivek Bhardwaj who was jokingly taking a much-needed (and well-deserved) vacation. They rounded off the demo by updating the car’s software wirelessly through a BlackBerry 10 smartphone – a true demonstration of the unique strength of the platform in machine-to-machine connectivity.
The show themes of power in the auto sector didn’t end there, we’d still see two more partners join the stage, with horsepower abound. Thorsten welcomed President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Johann Jungwirth, to talk about the future of the platform deployment in the auto industry. And, not to be out done, famed grand prix driver and MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team member, Lewis Hamilton, rolled onto the stage with a stunning race car to introduce something very special.
Hamilton and Thorsten introduced a new way for brands, celebrities and others to connect with their fan base called BBM Channels. BBM Channels will bring the engagement power of the BBM platform to brands, something that will no doubt be a welcome way to connect with their user-base.
BlackBerry has been very effective over the past year in doing this – Frank Boulben , CMO at BlackBerry, took the stage at BlackBerry Live to discuss the year in BlackBerry marketing and the transformation of our brand in many different areas including social media. We have YOU to thank for that #TeamBlackBerry! He then welcomed Global Creative Director, BlackBerry – Alicia Keys to the stage to discuss the next phase of the Keep Moving projects and the BlackBerry Scholars program, a multi-level strategy to engage young women across the globe in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
The announcement that indisputably drew the biggest reaction from the audience was the introduction of plans to bring BBM to iOS and Android platforms later this year. The announcement made waves across the mobile community and definitely resonated with many. It’s a big step for our much-adored messaging platform that set the standard for mobile instant messaging with fast and reliable service and an added layer of engagement with delivered and read statuses.
The keynote was nothing short of a masterpiece for us here at BlackBerry, and it ended with the BlackBerry executive team taking the stage all at once for the first time. A wonderful photo-op and symbol of the strength of BlackBerry as we move to pioneer the future of mobile computing.
Did you tune in on the live stream or follow the action on our social channels? Which was your favorite moment from the BlackBerry Live 2013 keynote? Share it with us below in the comments.