Canadian Tire CTO impressed with BlackBerry Q10's long battery life

Toronto company deploys thousands of Blackberries to corporate employees

By , Computerworld |  

"Balance is a good idea, and I started using it last week," Roman said. "It's quite interesting how it keeps your life simple. Everybody has a personal email, so my kids can send me messages there. I got insurance for my car and don't want that email going to my work email. So Balance makes things nice and clean. These smartphones are ports into the company."

Roman said he also likes the Hub concept of organizing all email and texts and other incoming information into one universal in-box that can be revealed with a touch on the 3.1-in. touchscreen above the keyboard.

"The Q10 is all about the user experience, and I find that the Hub is extremely useful, that it organizes my life and is like the old PDA, but the Q10 plays that role on steroids," he said.

Roman predicted the Q10 will be a "huge hit" with hard-core qwerty keyboard users. Already, many employees at the 1,700 Canadian Tire retail stores under various brands such as FGL Sports are requesting a new Z10 or Q10. "The Q10 is an amazing little device."

Canadian Tire has also launched a BlackBerry mobile app for consumers to browse the company's products online, locate stores and check product availability that received 20 million mobile visits last year. Customers can use BlackBerry smartphones to scan barcodes in the store to read reviews and other information.

The Z10 first became available in the U.S. in March and the Q10 is expected on four major U.S. carriers at the end of May at a suggested price of $249 plus contract, BlackBerry said. The Q10 first became available in Canada on May 1 for $199 with a three-year contract from wireless carriers Rogers, Bell Mobility and Telus.

BlackBerry has tried to build momentum for its newest smartphones with major customer wins, but hasn't revealed early sales figures for the Q10. In late March, BlackBerry said it shipped 1 million Z10s in the fourth quarter.

Among its corporate buyers of the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, BlackBerry recently announced law firm Clifford Chance in the UK will issue 1,600 Z10s and Q10s to workers.

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