March 11, 2013
Just In Time For Spring, BlackBerry Z10 Lands March 22
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
AT&T will open up sales on the BlackBerry Z10, which runs on the BlackBerry 10 operating system, later this month in the US. Pre-orders will start March 12, and the phone will be available on March 22 for all customers, including corporate customers and those receiving corporate discounts.
To date the BlackBerry Z10 has only trickled in to the US market. Newcomer wireless carrier Solavei made the handset available last month for $999. The BlackBerry Z10 is currently available from Solavei on the GSMNation web site for $689.
"BlackBerry is suddenly ready and is launching BB10. Now we can see if this product has wings and will fly," said industry analyst Jeff Kagan. "However since the big, very un-BlackBerry-like introduction, the largest market, the USA, was still not ready. It did launch in other countries through [sic]. That is the problem with a global launch. However one important mistake is that the US marketplace must be in the first wave or they risk missing the wave."
AT&T will have the BlackBerry Z10 handset for $199.99, with a two-year contract. The March 22 launch date is earlier than expected, after BlackBerry announced a delay on the handset following the BlackBerry 10 operating system launch in January. The new BlackBerry phone, which has no physical keyboard, will run on AT&T's 4G LTE network.
"AT&T customers were the first to experience BlackBerry smartphones and services in the U.S. and we are thrilled to bring the next evolution, the BlackBerry Z10, to the nation's fastest 4G LTE network," said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices and Developer Services at AT&T Mobility, in a statement. "Customers who have grown to love the tried and true BlackBerry experience will continue to enjoy the easy typing and the secure platform they expect with a fresh platform that lets them get more out of their smartphone with easy access to all their messages in BlackBerry Hub."
Other carriers will follow with the BlackBerry Z10. T-Mobile business customers will receive delivery on the BlackBerry Z10 handset soon, Engadget reports. It appears that AT&T is beating its competing carrier to the punch, however, and will have handsets in consumer hands before that happens.
The BlackBerry Z10 runs on the BlackBerry 10 platform. The handset features a high-resolution 4.2-inch display, and an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video. The Z10 touchscreen keyboard adapts to the user and learns the typing style so faster and more accurate typing is possible. It will be interesting to see if more accurate typing is actually achieved, or if BlackBerry 10 spawns a whole new meme of auto-correct examples, similar to those that appear for the iPhone and Android phones.
BlackBerry 10, and therefore the Z10, centers around the BlackBerry Hub, a central location for emails and messaging. The hub is available for viewing even while apps are running, using a gesture-based swipe to bring the hub to the screen.