We came. We saw. We left with a BlackBerry Z10 in hand. It was a good morning for the BlackBerry faithful that turned up at NYC's T-Mobile store located at 34th and 6th and all T-Mobile subscribers that have been waiting
patiently impatiently for the Z10. Beyond today's Z10 launch, it was a big day for T-Mobile USA in other news.
Separately, the company held a press conference today officially announcing its first seven LTE-enabled cities along with their new Simple Choice plans. They also announced pricing and availability for the Samsung S4 and HTC One and that the iPhone will finally be available from T-Mobile, starting April 12th. T-Mobile really lined things up to make March 26th a T-Mobile day.
All of that other news was a moot point though for the soon to be BlackBerry Z10 owners that arrived before the store opened this morning. Walking up to the line thirty minutes before the store opened, I was immediately recognized by a good number of people. It's always a nice thing to see CrackBerry fans in line, but I was also happy to discover there were people in line who had never ever heard of CrackBerry.com before. And that's an even better thing - demand for BlackBerry 10 has to be bigger than CrackBerry Nation - so I was glad that was case.
One such fellow -- who I'll refer to as Bob -- was totally awesome and exuded that if there's a problem, I'll solve it with money type of vibe. Seriously, Bob offered to buy both my and Bla1ze's Z10s just so he could skip waiting in line (plus he liked my white Z10 and Bla1ze's red one). Talking to Bob was interesting though as it reminded me of just how hardcore that core base of traditional NYC / Wall Street BlackBerry users can be. For him, it's a communication tool first and foremost -- he could give a rat's ass about apps -- and he just wants the best BlackBerry and communication experience he can get. Bob was clear he would only be using his Z10 until the Q10 comes out, as he doesn't think he "will be able text and drive as well with the Z10 compared to the Q10". Like I said, hardcore. It also makes me think that the Q10 launch is going to be BIG for BlackBerry - there are a lot of people not like Bob who are simply going to hold out for the Q10. [Editor's Note - Don't Text and Drive]
Five minutes before the store opened, the T-Mobile District Manager for Manhattan Midtown came out of the store to greet everybody in line and let us know they would be opening the doors soon. I was the fifth person to walk in the door, and was quickly assigned to a rep to get working on getting a Z10. Thanks to T-Mobile's contract-less plans (which is awesome), picking up a Z10 was quick and painless. I'm excited to have a Z10 on T-Mobile to try while in NYC. Word is they should flick the switch on their LTE service any day now.
Overall, the vibe in the store was really positive. I spoke to the District Manager and District Director for a bit (both CrackBerry readers!), and they were clearly excited by the launch of BlackBerry 10. They relayed there is still a big base of users in NYC who have been wanting a new BlackBerry.
Outside of the store, T-Mobile reps were handing out flyers about the Z10 and showing off demos on live units. And as everybody in the store began to leave the store with Z10 in hand, I saw nothing but smiles.
It was a great experience. Of course, these are my observations at one store. Hopefully other T-Mobile customers across the US have had positive experiences picking up their Z10s today. If you picked up a Z10 today from T-Mobile, be sure to let us know in the comments how it went for you!