Friday Poll: Will the Z10 save BlackBerry?

BlackBerry took the wrapping off the shiny new Z10 smartphone this week. Will it be enough to save the company from irrelevance?

Low Latency No. 50 BlackBerry illustration
Someone might be a little late to the party. Blake Stevenson

The release of the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone will be remembered as either a breath of new life for the company or a last gasp as it fell into irrelevance. By all accounts, the Z10 is a tremendous step forward in design and hardware over previous BlackBerrys, but it's coming at a time when the smartphone market is crowded with established contenders with massive app stores already in place.

CNET contributor Ben Parr says that the Z10 and its keyboard-wielding buddy Q10 face a major deficit on the app front. He argues that iOS and Android have an insurmountable lead in the app race, meaning the Z10 will never attract the new customers BlackBerry needs to grow and survive.

Others suggest the smaller app store and lack of popular apps like Instagram don't matter for a company that specializes in the enterprise market. Some expect the BlackBerry app store to catch up over time.

No matter how you look at it, the Z10 faces fierce competition. Its security and management features make it an attractive buy for businesses, but some have already deserted the BlackBerry platform. CNET reader loose_screw writes, "My company, and many others that I know of, have already switched from BB to iPhone/Android. I don't think a new BB phone is going to make us switch back to BB."

The Z10 and its modern design has been a long time coming, but we'll have to wait and see if it and the Q10 can pull BlackBerry back from tottering on the brink. Is the Z10 the smartphone savior BlackBerry needs to save the company? Vote in our poll and talk it out in the comments.

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