T-Mobile USA on June 5 will become the first major U.S. carrier to sell the BlackBerry Q10 qwerty smartphone to consumers in stores and online for $99.99 down and 24 monthly $20 payments.
Verizon Wireless began taking Web orders for the Q10 device today, with a shipping date of June 6.
Verizon will charge $199.99, with a new two-year agreement. The Q10 will be sold in Verizon stores shortly after the Web orders ship, a spokeswoman said.
Sprint and AT&T will also carry the Q10. Sprint today repeated earlier statements that it will start delivering the smartphone to users in late summer while AT&T today said again that it will start shipping the device sometime this summer.
Neither Sprint or AT&T has announced a price for the Q10.
T-Mobile has been selling the Q10 to business customers since May 14 under special plans arranged with T-Mobile business sales reps.
BlackBerry said on May 14 that it would begin selling the Q10 through U.S. carriers in June, not May as it had previously announced.
The qwerty Q10 device, which has a physical keyboard beneath a 3.1-in touchscreen, is already on sale in more than 14 other countries, including Canada.
T-Mobile charges $579.99 for the Q10, following its recent initiative to make phones available unsubsidized or nearly so. The carrier is also promoting unlimited data, voice and texting plans with no annual contracts under what it calls its Simple Choice Plan.
BlackBerry officials have high hopes for the Q10, since up to 90% of its existing 70 million-plus customers already use a qwerty BlackBerry phone like the Curve or Bold.
"BlackBerry will start its real recovery with the long-awaited Q10, which has an actual keypad," independent analyst Jeff Kagan said recently. "BlackBerry users love their keypad."
The Q10 will run the first update of BlackBerry 10, called BlackBerry 10.1. That update has recently been made available to the Z10 touchscreen-only smartphone, which went on sale in February.
At one point in April, BlackBerry suggested the sales price for the Q10 would be $249 with a two-year contract, but Verizon is charging $50 less.
At T-Mobile, business customers will pay $119.99 or more for the Q10, depending on the wireless plan they choose. One of the business plans, called Business Unlimited, charges $70 a month on a two-year contract, offering unlimited talk, text and data.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His email address is [email protected].
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