By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 04, 2013 01:54 PM EST
BlackBerry launched its new BB10 operating system this week and the event attendees received brand new Z10 phones running on the new platform.
BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion (RIM), gave away hundreds of Z10 phones to journalists, analysts, and others in the tech industry. The handset is not set to hit the market for another month and a half, but within hours of the BB10 unveiling, eBay had a bunch of BlackBerry Z10s ready for sale.
Considering that the phones are not yet out, it doesn't take mad detective skills to figure out where the unlocked smartphones came from. Some of those who attended the BlackBerry 10 launch likely appreciated their gift so much that they decided to share the joy. For a price, of course. In some cases, bids for a Z10 went up to a whopping $3,000 or more.
The new BlackBerry Z10 will launch in the U.S. sometime in mid-March, and will sport a $150 - $200 price tag, depending on the carrier. That's nowhere near the outrageous bids showing up on eBay, but it seems that some people are willing to pay (far) more to get the device ahead of launch. Phones on eBay typically come unlocked, i.e. they don't require a carrier contract. When the device officially goes on sale in the U.S., the unlocked version is expected to sport a $599 price tag.
The high bids the Z10 has attracted on eBay is a notable sign of early demand for the device in the U.S., where it takes longer to arrive. BlackBerry has already made the Z10 available to UK consumers through Vodafone Group Plc and other carriers, and the phone is also set to go on sale in Canada on Feb. 5 and in the UAE on Feb. 10.
In the U.S., BlackBerry's latest smartphone faces a lengthier carrier-testing process. The U.S. is BlackBerry's biggest single market, but delaying a product that was already so late seems to spark mixed reactions. While some consumers got tired of waiting and decided to go for another option, others are apparently willing to pay thousands of dollars to finally get the long-awaited Z10.