TORONTO, March 11 AT&T Inc said on Monday
that it would start selling the highly anticipated BlackBerry
Z10 touchscreen smartphone to customers by March 22, with early
sales of the long-delayed devices to begin on Tuesday.
BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion, is
hoping the new devices, which are already on sale in Canada,
Great Britain and more than 20 other countries, will help it
regain market share in the United States, which was once a
stronghold for the smartphone industry pioneer.
The U.S. launch of the new devices had been delayed due to a
longer carrier-testing phase in the country.
BlackBerry has said sales of the new devices have been
outpacing its expectations, but investors are keen to see how
the products fare in the United States. The company has rapidly
ceded market share there to the likes of Apple Inc's
iPhone and a slew of devices powered by Google's
Android operating system.
As expected, AT&T said it would sell the devices for $199.99
with a two-year contract. T-Mobile USA said on Friday it
planned to start selling the BlackBerry Z10 to its business
customers in the United States on Monday.
Verizon Inc, the biggest U.S. wireless carrier, has
yet to say when its sales of the Z10 will begin.
BlackBerry shares were up 5.1 percent at $13.70 in early
Nasdaq trading on Monday, while its Toronto-listed stock rose by
a similar margin to C$14.12.