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BlackBerry officials say they are pleased with the early response of the company’s new phones, reports All Things D. Today, the Canadian company’s Z10, their first BlackBerry 10 device, hits retail stores in the U.S.

“We are launching in the U.S. on the back of a successful launch in now more than 25 countries, and we expect the U.S. market to be no different,” BlackBerry Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben said in an interview on Thursday.

The Z10 is now available from AT&T for $200 on a two-year contract. The features and specifications are apparently so compelling, even Eric Schmidt uses a Blackberry.

The number of apps available has grown to 100,000, up from the 70,000 that were ready when the Z10 was first announced on Jan. 30. While the 100,000 number is impressive, it includes a mix of both native applications and Android apps that have been certified to run via an emulation engine, explains All Things D. BlackBerry has not thus far said how many apps fall into each category.

The company hopes to establish BlackBerry 10 as a strong third ecosystem in the U.S. market. BlackBerry 10 is a proprietary mobile operating system developed by BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) for its smartphones and tablets. It is based on QNX which was acquired by BlackBerry in April 2010. BlackBerry 10 is the third major release of a QNX based operating system, following the release of BlackBerry Tablet OS with the BlackBerry PlayBook on April 19, 2011

The all-touch Z10 is the first in a line of about a half-dozen BlackBerry devices coming over the next 12 months. The keyboard-equipped Q10 should start shipping in the first countries in April but won’t hit the U.S. for some time.

QNX Software announced that Delphi Automotive has chosen their QNX CAR application platform 2.0 for use in next-generation infotainment systems. The HTML5-based framework allows the OEM to leverage apps from the consumer electronics space. Telematics Update has the latest news in that sector.

The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers says 63 million vehicles were sold in 2012. Vehicle telematics is a fast growing field with a dozen different competitors.

Intel’s $100 million Connected Car Fund focuses on investing in automotive technology innovation.

Intel’s Automotive Innovation and Product Development Center will serve as Intel’s global hub for the development of products and technologies for in-vehicle infotainment and telematics. The Intel Capital Connected Car Fund aims to accelerate the seamless connection between the vehicle and consumer electronic devices.

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