BlackBerry has announced that its long-awaited keyboard phone running BlackBerry 10 software, the Q10, will launch on May 1 in Canada.
Canadian carriers Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility and Telus will all offer the Q10. As is the norm in Canada, customers will need to sign a three-year contract to buy the phone for the subsidized price of $199. Customers will also be able to buy the phone from several retailers, including Future Shop and Walmart Canada.
The first country to get the Q10, however, will be the U.K. BlackBerry hasn't specified an exact date, only that it will be available sometime in April. The U.S. launch is equally unspecific, only that it would come by the end of May. BlackBerry says the Q10 will be priced so U.S. carriers will be able to charge $249 with a two-year contract.
The Q10 is the second handset from the company to run BlackBerry 10, the first being the Z10, a touchscreen device that launched in early February. The Q10 runs the same operating system but includes a physical QWERTY keyboard — the form factor most closely associated with BlackBerry.
In late March BlackBerry said it had shipped 1 million BlackBerry Z10 phones worldwide, at the same time posting increased revenues.
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Update: Shortly after publication, BlackBerry contacted us with additional information about U.S. and U.K. availability. Those details have been added.