Verizon, T-Mobile And Sprint To Carry BlackBerry Q10 Starting This Summer
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
The company formerly known as Research in Motion (RIM) continues to look to turn things around, and its next major move will come this summer when the BlackBerry Q10 handset is released on three of the four largest carriers in the United States: Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.
The Q10 is already available in 14 countries around the world, but Americans will soon be able to get their hands on the new handset, which features the traditional BlackBerry keyboard layout.
When BlackBerry officially unveiled the BB10 OS in January, it announced there would be two versions released by summer. The Q10 is actually the second device to run the new BlackBerry 10 operating system and will receive the 10.1 system update, which is also available for the Z10 beginning this month for US customers. The Z10 arrived in February and was also the first touchscreen-enabled BlackBerry device released.
The Q10 features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture and 2-megapixel front-facing camera with support for video in 720p HD. Unlike the Z10, this new handset features the ubiquitous QWERTY keyboard layout.
Verizon will reportedly begin taking pre-orders for the new device in the coming weeks while the Q10 will officially go on sale in June, with T-Mobile confirming a similar release window. Sprint will begin selling the BlackBerry Q10 in “late summer.”
T-Mobile announced that customers can purchase the phone for $119.99 with “qualifying plans,” while no-contract customers can put a down payment on the device for $99.99 with a $20-a-month fee for two years, bringing the total price to $580.
Speaking at the BlackBerry Live conference, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins suggested the Q10 is one of the devices that could help turn things around for the company.
“We are definitely in the race,” Heins said as reported by Computer World. “In one short year, we have brought this company to a profitable quarter. The most successful launch year for BlackBerry is well underway. It hasn´t been an easy journey, but man, we have reached solid ground with this company.”
Heins further noted the BlackBerry World app store now reportedly has 120,000 apps and a global network of 650 carriers in 175 countries.
At this week´s BlackBerry Live conference the company also announced it would introduce a new 3.1-inch QWERTY smartphone known as the BlackBerry Q5 for emerging markets in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia, but that device will not likely be released in the United States.
It was also announced one of the most popular BlackBerry features will soon go cross-platform. The company announced the new BBM messaging service will be compatible with Apple´s iOS and Google´s Android 4.0 when it debuts later this summer. The initial release will include multi-person chats and offer users the ability to share photos and voice notes.
“The time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service,” Andrew Bocking, executive vice president of Software Product Management and Ecosystem at BlackBerry said in a statement. “BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy. We´re excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community.”