AT&T to launch BlackBerry 10 in US on March 22

AT&T to launch BlackBerry 10 in US on March 22 Zeebiz Bureau

Toronto: America’s leading telecom service provider, AT&T will launch the new BlackBerry 10 smartphone, Z10 for US consumers on March 22.

In January, Research in Motion (RIM), renamed BlackBerry, launched its much anticipated touchscreen smartphone and has begun the sales in UK and Canada.

In the US, the BlackBerry Z10 will be available for USD 199.99 with a two-year contract, said AT&T.

The redesigned BlackBerry is RIM's attempt at a comeback. The pioneering brand lost its cachet not long after Apple's 2007 release of the iPhone, which reset consumers' expectations for what a smartphone should do.

RIM Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said previously he was disappointed the new BlackBerry would not be released in the US until mid-March, but he said the US and its phone carriers have a rigid testing system.

With the news of collaboration with AT&T, shares of BlackBerry jumped USD 1.84, or 14.1 percent, to close at USD 14.90 Monday on the Nasdaq.

BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis said the stock move is based on a report quoting Lenovo's chief executive as saying he might be interested in an acquisition of RIM. Gillis and Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said a Chinese acquisition is unlikely due to security concerns.

Misek said checks by Jefferies indicate that the Z10 is selling well in developing markets including India, but Gillis noted RIM's US release will go up against Samsung's next Galaxy smartphone which is expected to be unveiled on Thursday.

With Agency Inputs