BlackBerry Q10 on Track for April Launch

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Amidst various reports about the U.S. release of its keyboarded Q10 smartphone, BlackBerry today confirmed that the device will indeed launch in April.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said last month that the BlackBerry Q10 (pictured) would be released in April, but a Tuesday Associated Press report said the Q10 would debut “eight to 10 weeks after” the touch-screen Z10 arrives in March.

BlackBerry set the record straight today, saying in an email that “we expect the first global carriers to launch the BlackBerry Q10 in April.”

“We are working closely with our carrier partners to accelerate their testing process, but cannot offer any specifics on US availability,” BlackBerry added.

Pricing and availability for the device will be announced at a later date. Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T already announced plans to carry the phone; T-Mobile has only said it will offer the Z10.

The phone’s 3.1-inch screen sits above the classic QWERTY keyboard, with a back panel featuring a “glass-weave cover” that is “thinner, lighter, and stronger than plastic,” according to the company. For more, see PCMag’s Hands On With the BlackBerry Q10 and the slideshow above.

After several months of delay, the company unveiled its long-anticipated BlackBerry 10 operating system on Jan. 30, as well as the first smartphones that will run the OS — the Q10 and its Z10 counterpart.

The latter is a 4.2-inch slab-style touch-screen device, with a textured back panel that curves slightly around the edges. For more, see PCMag’s first look at the BlackBerry Z10.

Verizon Wireless will offer the Z10 on its 4G LTE network for $199.99 with a two-year contract; T-Mobile and AT&T also confirmed plans to carry the smartphone. The phone hit the U.K. late last month, before reaching Canada yesterday. It is expected in the U.S. by the end of March, Heins said during the OS launch.

See how the new touch-screen smartphone compares to its competitors, check out PCMag’s spec showdowns with the Apple iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III.

On Tuesday, BlackBerry began handing out 12,000 limited-edition red BlackBerry Z10 devices to developers as a thank you to those who worked on the new operating system. Those who received a BB Dev Alpha phone and have created BB 10 apps qualify to trade in their alpha device for the red Z10.

For more, check out 6 Things BlackBerry 10 Needs to Succeed, as well as PCMag’s first look at BlackBerry 10, and our roundup of the 10 Best BlackBerry 10 Games.

By Stephanie Mlot, PCMag


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