BlackBerry Z10 Arrives Early: Available Through Solavei For $999
February 11, 2013

BlackBerry Z10 Arrives Early: Available Through Solavei For $999

Peter Suciu for — Your Universe Online

After a major launch event last month, which promised to put new BlackBerry 10 handsets in user´s hands within weeks, BlackBerry — the company formerly known as Research in Motion — announced last week that the its Q10 model, with a physical qwerty keyboard, would not be available in the United States until at least May or June, according to ComputerWorld.

But for those who want to experience the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, the wait might not be as long, as BlackBerry CEO Thorsen Heins has suggested that the physical qwerty-less BlackBerry Z10, would be released in mid-March.

However, on Monday aspiring wireless carrier Solavei could reduce that wait time even more.

The wireless start-up announced today (Feb 11) that it will be the first mobile carrier to offer the new BlackBerry handset in the United States. Starting today the smartphone will be available through Solavei´s retail partner GSM Nation for $999.

The company has said that orders placed today will put the Z10 in customer´s hands on Wednesday.

This is already being seen as a bold move for a carrier that only launched in September of last year. The new carrier, which Engadget describes as a “virtual operator (MVNO)” rides atop T-Mobile´s GSM/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA+ network. It currently offers unlimited voice, SMS and data for $49 a month, and is contract free.

While the carrier already offers a number of popular smartphones including the Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S III, the upstart carrier is trying to draw attention by offering the Z10 early. The handset, which is already available in Canada and the UK, features a high-resolution LCD display, 4.2 inch screen with onscreen keyboard and runs on the new BB10 OS.

“We believe in giving our members access to the latest phones and wireless capabilities," Ryan Wuerch, founder and CEO of Solavei, said in a statement. “Solavei not only gives its members the opportunity to pay less for unlimited mobile service, but even the opportunity to earn income by sharing Solavei with others.”

The new carrier has reportedly attracted more than 120,000 members nationwide, and instead of spending money on advertising to build brand awareness, or using retail stores to distribute its services, Solavei has relied on word of mouth and personal social media connections to spread the word. New members who in turn sign up other members are directly compensated for their efforts, and the company claims to have already paid out more than $5 million in member commissions.

For those who don´t want to switch carriers — or pay the premium for the new handset — the Z10 will still likely be available in the coming weeks.

Announced last month, the BlackBerry Z10 is expected to be available on most — if not all — of the major carriers in the United States in March. However, Verizon currently remains the only U.S. carrier to announce pricing for the handset - $199 with a new two-year contract.

The handset, as noted, is already available in Canada, where it is being offered for $149 with a new two-year agreement with a Canadian carrier, or for $599 unlocked and contract-free.

The company formerly known as RIM is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario.