Nearly every detail of BlackBerry’s (RIM has changed its name to just “BlackBerry”) new BlackBerry 10 operating system and smartphones were painstakingly covered in the company’s big launch event earlier today. The one very noticeable thing that wasn’t covered, however, was when the new devices would actually launch in the U.S.
Canada got a clear release date of February 5, but U.S. BlackBerry fans will have to wait until sometime in March. The specific launch date will probably vary by carrier, but each of the major U.S. carriers has at least confirmed that it will carry at least one of the two new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
AT&T and Verizon, the two largest U.S. wireless carriers, have both confirmed that they will be carrying the BlackBerry Z10 (the one that resembles an iPhone) and the BlackBerry Q10 (the one with the traditional BlackBerry physical keyboard). The white version of the Z10 will be a Verizon exclusive handset. Verizon is also the only carrier that has so far announced a price for either of the new BlackBerry devices. The Z10 (both black and white) will retail for $200 plus a two-year Verizon service contract.
Neither T-Mobile nor Sprint will be selling both the Z10 and the Q10. They seem to have some sort of split deal with BlackBerry, where T-Mobile will be selling the Z10 and Sprint will be selling the keyboard-laden Q10.
None of the carriers are taking pre-orders for the BlackBerry smartphones yet, though all of them but Sprint are allowing customers to sign up for email notifications regarding the devices.