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BlackBerry Q10 U.S. carrier testing may delay phone until later this summer

News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday February 06, 2013.

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When will the BlackBerry Q 10, the BlackBerry 10 smartphone with a keyboard, debut in the U.S.? That's what everyone attending last week's BB10 unveiling wanted to know, and a clear answer was never provided. Now we know that the wait could be as late as June.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins told the Associated Press that the BlackBerry Q10 is likely to debut 8 to 10 weeks after the BlackBerry Z10 is released in the U.S. The Z10 is expected to launch in the U.S.in mid March at the earliest, so the gap between device releases could mean that the BlackBerry Q10 won't hit American retailers until this summer.

It's important to note that Heins was merely estimating what he expects to happen; release information is left up almost entirely to the carriers. AT&T could decide to release the Q10 in six weeks while Sprint could choose to wait nine weeks. The release of the Q10 rests entirely on how quickly the carriers are able to complete network testing with the device and have a plan ready to launch the phone later this year. Heins told the Associated Press, "We're trying to get it as close as we can," but the he realistically feels carriers will keep at least a two-month separation between the release of the touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 and the keyboard-toting BlackBerry Q10.

A prolonged delay would be disheartening for BlackBerry, which has already seen considerable delays in the release of BB10. While the MobileBurn.com BlackBerry Z10 review rates the phone as capable, a large portion of BlackBerry fans desire a physical keyboard, which means they will have to wait until the Q10 is release. If carriers do not accelerate the testing process, the worst-case scenario would mean that the Q10 would not be released in the U.S. until more than five months after it was announced.

source: Associated Press, via: AllThingsD

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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