US carrier Sprint had chosen to skip the BlackBerry Z10, the first full-touch phone to feature BlackBerry's brand new mobile operating system, and had said that it instead plans to launch the BlackBerry Q10, the device which sports a hardware keyboard. It turns out that the operator does plan to launch a full-touch BlackBerry 10 device, albeit in the second half of the year.
According to a report
by AllThingsD, which cites a source familiar with the development, the phone would be the successor to the Z10 and not just a modified version of the phone.
Other US telecom carriers including T-Mobile and Verizon will launch the BlackBerry Z10 in US, later this month, while AT&T has already started
taking pre-orders with a 22 March launch date, offering the phone for $199.99 on a two-year contract. The BlackBerry Q10 is expected to launch in the US eight to ten weeks after the BlackBerry Z10 makes its debut.
It would be interesting to see how the new BlackBerry phones perform in the US market where the one-time smartphone pioneer, has bled market share to the likes of Apple's iPhone, Samsung's Galaxy line and other devices powered by Google Inc's market-leading Android operating system.
In a make-or-break move to regain market share and return to profit, BlackBerry introduced the new Z10 smartphone with much fanfare in January, and said it was abandoning its old name, Research In Motion, and renaming itself BlackBerry. The phone is on sale in the UK, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, India, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, among other countries.
Recently, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins had said
that the Z10 sold out in the Indian market in two days after its launch on 25 February.