BlackBerry 10 US release delayed until mid-March, but shouldn’t affect Bermuda

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  • <B>Strong start:</B> The BlackBerry Z10 went on sale in Toronto yesterday attracting record orders.<B></B>

    Strong start: The BlackBerry Z10 went on sale in Toronto yesterday attracting record orders.

The launch of BlackBerry’s latest phone is facing further delays in the US, but those delays aren’t expected to affect its release here in Bermuda.

The makers of the new phone, Research in Motion Ltd newly renamed BlackBerry, says a lengthy testing process by wireless carriers in the US means the new BlackBerry Z10, the touch screen only model, won’t go on sale in the US until mid-March — more than a month after its debut in the UK last week.

Although BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said the exact release date will depend on each wireless provider, he said the physical keyboard version, the BlackBerry Q10, will likely be released eight to ten weeks after a carrier releases a model with only a touch screen, the BlackBerry Z10.

That means the BlackBerry Q10 — the model with a physical keyboard — might not arrive in the US until May or June, a month or two behind other parts of the world.

Bermuda’s wireless service providers however, tell this newspaper that the push back of the US launch date will have no impact on the release of the BlackBerry Z10 here on the Island.

“We don’t see the delays in the US launch of the BlackBerry 10 necessarily impacting us here in Bermuda,” a CellOne spokesperson told The Royal Gazette. “Blackberry has already indicated that delays with the large US carriers stem from the long testing process required to approve the devices for launch in that market.”

“I can confirm that after speaking directly with our partners at BlackBerry that the push back of the US launch will not impact the date that the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone will launch in Bermuda,” said Shane McDonnell, sales director of Digicel Bermuda. “We estimate that the device will be available sometime in late April or early May.”

“The excitement of the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone launch has many of our customers eagerly awaiting the availability of the device at Digicel,” Mr McDonnell added.

Both CellOne and Digicel anticipate the Z10 will go on sale in Bermuda sometime in April. The Q10 model, with a physical keyboard will arrive sometime later. The estimated time of arrival however, is unknown at this time, the companies tell us.

In Canada, where the BlackBerry Z10 went on sale yesterday, the phone has already attracted record orders at wireless carrier BCE Inc and analysts say sales are off to a strong start in the UK, sparking a 22 percent stock rally over the past two days.

BCE, Canada’s No 2 carrier, said early orders for the Z10 have topped any previous BlackBerry model, while one Carphone Warehouse Group Plc outlet in the UK, where the phone has been on sale since January 31, sold out of the model in under half an hour, local staff said.

BlackBerry is counting on a robust start before the Z10 goes on sale in the US in March to help reverse six quarters of declining sales and years of market-share losses to rivals led by iPhone maker Apple Inc.

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Published Feb 6, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm)

BlackBerry 10 US release delayed until mid-March, but shouldn’t affect Bermuda

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