News / Canada

BlackBerry Q10 smartphone to hit stores May 1

TORONTO - BlackBerry says the keyboard version of its new smartphone will arrive in Canadian stores on May 1, and in the United States later the same month.

The BlackBerry Q10 will first be stocked by carriers Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), Bell Mobility (TSX:BCE) and Telus (TSX:T), the company announced Tuesday.

U.S. carriers are expected to get the phone "by the end of May," the company said in an emailed statement. The four major U.S. carriers, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, will all carry the Q10.

The new model, which sports both a keyboard and a touchscreen, has been highly anticipated by some longtime BlackBerry fans.

"We're seeing strong momentum behind BlackBerry 10 from carriers, customers and partners around the world," said Andrew MacLeod, the company's managing director for Canada.

"The BlackBerry Q10 will accelerate this trend."

When the Waterloo, Ont.,-based smartphone maker revealed its new phones in January, several analysts were critical of BlackBerry's decision to stagger the release of the touchscreen and keyboard versions.

Shares of BlackBerry rose 35 cents to $14.72 shortly before markets closed Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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