AT&T is getting its first BlackBerry 10 device on March 22.
The carrier announced today that the touch-screen BlackBerry Z10 smartphone will be available for pre-order on March 12 and will go on sale in AT&T stores and online on March 22. The device will cost $199.99 with a two-year contract.
The BlackBerry Z10 is the first smartphone to launch with the new BlackBerry 10 software. It's also the first BlackBerry device to operate over AT&T's 4G LTE network. The touch-screen device has a 4.2-inch high-resolution display and an 8-megapixel camera that records 1080p HD video.
The launch of the BlackBerry Z10 is a big deal since there is so much riding on its success. BlackBerry devices, which once dominated smartphone sales in the U.S., have fallen from favor in the U.S. over the past couple of years as American consumers have snapped up Apple's iPhone and a bevy of Google Android devices. RIM has been working on the new BlackBerry 10 software in an effort to take on these competitors, but the company has been plagued by a series of delays.
The company finally unveiled the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10, which includes a physical keyboard, at a splashy event in January.
How well the BlackBerry Z10 does in the U.S. market will give an indication of RIM's prospects. But the Z10 has stiff competition in the coming months as other handset competitors launch devices, such as the HTC One and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4, set to launch this week.
In addition to AT&T, the BlackBerry Z10 will also be available on Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA. Sprint is not expected to sell the device. Instead, Sprint is slated to sell the BlackBerry Q10, which comes with RIM's iconic QWERTY keyboard. The Q10 is expected to launch about a month after the Z10.