Are you ready to see a phone running a QNX-based operating system? How about two such phones? It's BlackBerry 10, and RIM can't wait to show it to you -- and we can't want to bring you along with us, live from New York City. Tune in at this very page at the time listed below and get ready for a ride.
January 30, 2013 10:00 AM EST
We're live and in our seats!
Listening to some mellow tunes as the media slowly files in.. We have about 40 minutes until the event begins properly.
Incredibly bright blue lights are shining into our eyes. Pretty sure RIM is trying to blind us before we get going. Not sure what to make of that.
We're at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York City, if you were wondering. It's a bit of a gray, drizzly day here in New York, but we're nice and comfortable and warm in the venue here.
With all the basketball hoops around (pulled up to the ceiling) we're cautiously optimistic that an AND1 exhibition match is going to break out any minute.
I'm sitting with Joseph Volpe, who's on photo duties. Terrence O'Brien will be chiming in from time to time with some color commentary as well, and Ben Gilbert is on-hand for the inevitable news breakouts.
Joseph's just getting the white balance dialed in, then the imagery will start flowing.
As this venue is typically used for basketball it is, basically, a gymnasium. But RIM has done a good job of hiding that fact with black curtains and displays.
As always, there is a disappointing amount of Norwegian black metal playing through the PA. Read: none.
There's one large projected display up on stage, probably 50 feet or so. That's flanked on the left or right with other projected displays that run up the sides of the building and then, hanging from the ceiling, three short and wide LED panels.
Each and every one of them says the same thing: BlackBerry 10. If you had a moment's doubt about what this event was celebrating, let that be abolished.
We're pretty sure we can all guess what's in the pipeline for today. But if you've got any predictions for surprises RIM might breakout hit us up on Twitter: @terrenceobrien, @tim_stevens, @RealBenGilbert and @JrVolpe
And a formal welcome to everybody as our liveblog goes live. Again, we're about 30 minutes away from things actually starting here.
And, again, if you have any predictions you'd like to make, hit us up on Twitter: @terrenceobrien, @tim_stevens, @RealBenGilbert and @JrVolpe. We're share some of our favorites in here.
I've heard reports that the legendary Mike Lazaridis is in the house. Might we see him on stage? One can only hope.
Gettin' down to a little Hot Chip in here. RIM dance party!
There's a single demo podium up on stage, featuring two display that say... you guessed it, BlackBerry 10.
@thedonkeyshow (our lucky CES winner) says "It's going to be interesting to see if they can turn it all around and impress everyone..." -- Indeed! Lots of folks here today (and watching elsewhere) hoping for that.
Of course, with the Z10 already at UK retailers, you can see for yourself what's to come: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/30/blackberry-z10-spotted-at-uk-retailer-prior-to-bb10-event/
Of course, we're still waiting to see clear shots of the QWERTY device...
@somaniavishek says we're going to see "BB10 and WP8 fighting for the third place ;)" -- But can they break out?
The room is strangely quiet. The music is at a reasonable volume and our fellow journalists are chatting politely in their inside voices. That's a pretty drastic change from a lot of other recent press events that are trying to be part stadium concert.
If the photos are looking mighty blue that's because basically every light in this place has a blue tint. It goes well with the mellow theme we're feeling in here.
The media are nearly all seated at this point and roughly half the seats in this place are still empty. We're wondering if there's to be an onslaught of BB faithful to come before the event begins in 20.
Yes, you're less than 20 minutes away from the unveiling of BlackBerry 10! Can you handle it?
There's a lot of sneezing and coughing going on around us. Good thing I took my Airborne this morning.
If anyone had any doubts about what we'll be seeing today, one of the RIM PR agents was walking around using a Z10 rather openly before the doors opened. Sadly, we haven't spotted one of the QWERTY models in the wild ourselves just yet.
Hey now, the screens have just popped to life, showing off the BB10 keyboard.
"Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented." they say. "The BlackBerry Experience."
There are of course dueling events happening around the world, timed to go live simultaneously with our event in NYC. Toronto, London, and elsewhere...
@TheTree says "I am guessing you haven't seen the QWERTY model being used yet because it's going to be a lower cost model/trim" -- Pretty good chance of that. Or, maybe it's just not as close to ready as the Z10 is.
Of course, I have to confess I personally have seen and used the QWERTY device myself, but that's a topic for another liveblog...
@brokestudent145 is thinking a "new BB10 tablet perhaps?" -- perhaps, but we'd say it's a long shot.
Our friend @saschasegan has listed out all the events: "RIM is holding simultaneous events in NYC, Toronto, London, Jo'burg, New Delhi and Jakarta, which makes for funky time zones." Also, lots of frequent flier miles for event organizers...
@tritster says "With 4.4M US Federal employees MOSTLY "stuck" with blackberry, BB10 is the only choice. certainly in DOD." -- Right now, yes, but times they are a changing. There has been some research into changing over to iOS or Android... we'll see what the future holds.
Again, you can tweet at us, @terrenceobrien, @tim_stevens, @RealBenGilbert and @JrVolpe. We'll share some of our favorite predictions in the liveblog stream.
We're down to T-10 minutes! Getting close now...
And now we're getting some Rapture. It's feeling all sorts of 2006 in here right now .
We're being invited to tweet using #BlackBerry10 and indeed seeing some tweets up on stage. This is your moment to shine, folks -- but tweeting at one of us is probably more likely to get you featured in here.
@rickscottrod says "BB10 Prediction: the entire theater is actually an amusement park ride a la Jurassic Park" -- Oh man, I can't wait for the part where the T-Rex head comes through the roof.
They were just asking people to tweet their ratings of BlackBerry 10 on a five star scale... not surprisingly, most respondents gave it a five (78%)
There we have it, the one and only Mike Lazaridis. Joseph was kind enough to track him down.
@ajdomanico says "the event will end with an And1 basketball intersquad game courtesy of the Brooklyn Nets." -- That's what I'm sayin'!
"Ladies and gentlemen, please disable any WiFI hotspots... our program is about to begin."
I refuse to believe this is a launch event from a tech company until I hear M83's Midnight City
Are you ready? Only 5 minutes left!
@RaymondBethelJr says "I predict that major apps will be announced - like SKYPE!" -- Let's hope so!
I'm told Adele just appeared on the screen holding a BlackBerry. Synchronicity. Job, done.
Some guy named @danielwcooper says "Our future: Printers, Printers, Printers." -- Indeed, but how many dimensions will those printers offer?
@abibalaji asks "Would you prefer to live blog from a laptop or a tablet?" Laptop! Need a keyboard.
The room has filled in nicely, by the way. Plenty of folks behind us literally looking forward to seeing what's next.
@shadohchaser says "I should get BB 10 w skype, twitter & facebbok official apps for playbook too" -- that's a good question, anybody think the PlayBook will get much love today?
We've heard it's getting BB10, but still no word of when...
"Ladies and gentlemen, our program will begin momentarily. Please take your seats."
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, are y'all ready for BB10? Because it's time.
Music and bass slowly rising, lights flashing quicker, this is starting to turn into a nightclub for nerds.
Our own Ben Gilbert is gesticulating wildly at his computer. I can only assume it's because he's trying to write on a MacBook instead of a PlayBook.
We're still waiting here... music still rockin'
Aha, here we go!
London's counting down....
... at least I think. The music just suddenly got much more intense...
"Hello and welcome to the BlackBerry Experience." A gentlemen named Jack Perry is standing here at the event, just to our right.
We're checking in with London, Dubai, Toronto...
...people in Toronto standing and cheering, round of applause for them!
...also in Paris, Johannesburg and, of course, here in NYC.
And some applause for ourselves here in New York City as well... we deserve it.
"As you can see we've got great groups at each site, with thousands more joining us on the web."
And thank you for joining US on the web!
They're certainly going for a very theatrical presentation -- it feels like a reality show.
We're now listening to some BlackBerry users, giving their enthusiastic impressions of BB10.
Lots of business owners, trainers... "My favorite feature is multi-tasking" says one.
Devs are talking about their excitement for the platform, and its support.
"BB10, with the new gesture approach, allows people to quickly access things and, with the hub, see things across multiple forms of communication."
The National Film Board of Canada is very excited to get their content in the hands of more users.
"It's the best computing platform in the world," is how the video ended.
"The keyboard is literally, and I've used many of them, literally the best experience"
"We are just a few moments to launch," says the presenter.
And he's talking to Alec Saunders, who you may remember from our interview at CES.
Interestingly, this is all happening on the floor right in front of us. Still nobody on the stage!