Mobile service provider Solavei this weekend announced it is the first U.S. provider to offer BlackBerry's new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone.
Unfortunately, BlackBerry fans in the U.S. will have to pay-up significantly if they want to be early adopters. Solavei is offering the Z10 through its retail partner gsmnation for $999.
Solavei is a contract-free mobile virtual network operator on T-Mobile's network. The service offers a $49 unlimited everything plan, but does not sell or subsidize mobile devices. The company is attempting to grow itself through word-of-mouth viral marketing, rather than traditional advertising.
“We believe in giving our members access to the latest phones and wireless capabilities,” said Ryan Wuerch, founder and CEO of Solavei. “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.”
It sounds sketchy when put that way, but it's basically a referral discount. And BlackBerry Z10 users are going to need plenty of those to offset the huge upfront cost of their smartphone.
Those who can't afford, or don't want to pay, the early adopter mark-up will have to wait around one month to grab the smartphone via a subsidized subscription plan. All major U.S. carriers have announced they will carry the BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10 starting in March.