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Sprint eyeing alternative BB10 touch-screen phone

The carrier may have its heart set on another touch-screen BlackBerry.

Josh Miller/CNET

Apparently there's a reason Sprint passed up the BlackBerry Z10. Along with holding out for the BB10-powered Q10, the carrier may have plans for a new touch-screen handset from BlackBerry.

If sources close to All Things Digital are accurate, then Sprint has its eye on an additional all-screen phone other than the Z10, which BlackBerry may have up its sleeve.

According to this new report, the upcoming BlackBerry device may debut in the U.S. by mid-2013. While it's good news that Sprint will scoop up the physical-keyboard-sporting BlackBerry Q10, the fact that it has passed up the Z10 is disconcerting. BlackBerry really needs a unified launch to ensure the greatest marketing impact. Apple and now Samsung have demonstrated the value of this strategy.

Let's just hope that AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon carrying the Z10 will be enough to build interest in BlackBerry 10. Of course Verizon's rumored later launch date probably won't help matters, especially if it is significantly longer than those of the carrier's primary U.S. rivals.