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BlackBerry Z10 on sale in UK Jan 31, Middle East, Africa & Canada Feb 15; US must wait until March

January 31, 2013

Fresh from its rebrand from RIM to BlackBerry, the Canadian smartphone maker has launched BlackBerry 10 operating system and two new smartphones.

RIM (now known as BlackBerry) has launched two new devices and immediately the touch screen BlackBerry Z10 is open for pre-order with all four of the US’s largest carriers – Verizon, T-Mobile USA, Sprint, ATT — today, the company has confirmed. However they must wait until mid-March for the device to arrive due to carrier testing periods.

Americans will be beaten to getting their hands on the new phone, that plaudit will go to British users. The device will go on sale in the UK tomorrow, January 31, where all major operators – EE, Phones4u, CPW, Vodafone, O2, Three UK and BT — will be offering the handset.

The company confirmed that February 15 is the date by which the phone will launch in the Middle East — one of BlackBerry’s upcoming markets — and its homeland of Canada. The phone will go on sale in China slightly earlier, hitting the world’s largest smartphone market on February 5.

While the device is available for order in the US first, BlackBerry fans in the country face a longer wait for the device. ‘Most’ US carriers are expected to fulfill the early orders by mid-March, although BlackBerry expects that its initial 70,000 apps will swell to more than 100,000 by that point.

The keyboard-sporting Q10 is yet to receive price and launch details, although BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins  told Forbes  that the device could make its bow in April. “We’re working with carriers to get Z10 out with highest priority,” he added.

Pricing is varied across the world and the  BlackBerry Z10 has been confirmed as costing $199 on contract on Verizon, while the same device will be $149 on 3-year contract in Canada. The suggested retail price of an off-contract Z10 phones will be $599 in Canada,  the WSJ reports .

There was speculation that a new PlayBook model could launch, but Heins told RIM that the plan is to upgrade the existing tablets to the BlackBerry 10 platform so that the firm has ”one unique platform across tablets and smartphones and other computing elements we’ll be developing”. 

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From → Phones

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