BlackBerry Q10 Tells Another Tale Of Delay – U.S. To Get It Last

By Alexandra Burlacu email: a.burlacu@mobilenapps.com | Feb 07, 2013 12:14 PM EST

BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion (RIM), has just announced its new Q10 smartphone, but the handset is already experiencing delays.

A year and a half ago, the company announced that it would be working on what is now known as the BlackBerry 10 operating system (OS). While nobody expects a new operating system to be up and running overnight, BlackBerry did make a notable mistake: it announced a new OS more than a week before actually showing that it worked in the real world. Ever since, delays just kept piling up, testing the patience of the increasingly fewer fans it had left.

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Now, BlackBerry's CEO Thorsten Heins said in a recent interview that the new BlackBerry Q10 is up for another delay. Back at the BlackBerry Experience event in New York, Heins said that the Q10, the model with a physical keyboard, would become available in the U.S. in April. According to the new interview, however, the handset will not be arriving in the U.S. before May or June, a month or two behind other parts of the world.

Heins said that the exact release date will depend on each wireless provider, but the physical keyboard version of the BB10 smartphone, i.e. the BlackBerry Q10, will likely make its debut 8 to 10 weeks after a carrier releases the touchscreen model, the BlackBerry Z10.

Considering that the Z10 is not expected in the U.S. until mid-March, 8 to 10 weeks for the Q10 means the physical keyboard version will reach the U.S. sometime between mid-May and early-June. The new release date means that the BlackBerry Q10 will come just a few months shy of two years since BlackBerry first announced its BB10 platform. Loyal fans or not, having to wait nearly two years would test the patience of even the most enthusiastic groupie.

"We're trying to get it as close as we can," Heins said in an interview with the Associated Press, published with Mercury News.

According to BlackBerry, carrier testing is the main reason why its smartphones are taking longer to reach the U.S. compared to Canada and the UK.

"We expect the first global carriers to launch the BlackBerry Q10 in April," BlackBerry corporate communications manager Rebecca Freiburger told Wired in an emailed statement. "We will announce new pricing and availability information as carriers roll-out around the world. We are working closely with our carrier partners to accelerate their testing process, but cannot offer any specifics on US availability."

The BlackBerry Z10 launched in the UK on Feb. 1, two days after the BlackBerry 10 Experience event. A few days later, on Feb. 5, the handset made its debut in Canada as well, but the U.S. still has to wait at least a month to get the smartphone.

While BlackBerry has pledged that it is determined to regain market share in the U.S., launching products four months after announcing them could take a toll on the company's success. In a market that moves as rapidly as the U.S. does, endless patience is not a given.

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