By Alexandra Burlacu | Oct 18, 2013 10:02 AM EDT
BlackBerry has announced it will now allow customers in the U.S. to purchase unlocked BlackBerry smartphones straight from its online store.
According to the company, the first unlocked models that will be available for purchase online are the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10, both of which come in black and white color options.
The devices will not be available through a third-party retailer or carrier. Instead, they are for sale directly from BlackBerry, on the company's online store. With the smartphones now available SIM-unlocked, U.S. customers will be able to enjoy AT&T and T-Mobile's GSM-based 4G LTE and 4G networks in the country.
"For years we have been offering BlackBerry accessories directly to our customers on ShopBlackBerry.com and today we are pleased to launch direct sales of unlocked BlackBerry smartphones," BlackBerry Vice President of Global Retail Robert Perry announced in the press release.
"Our first two breakthrough BlackBerry 10 smartphones are the first to be launched, and we expect to make additional BlackBerry smartphones available on an unlocked basis in the U.S., as well as other markets around the world."
As the company itself mentioned in the press release, the ShopBlackBerry website was previously useful only for purchasing various accessories such as batteries, cases, chargers and audio peripherals for BlackBerry products. The new program for selling unlocked BlackBerry smartphones in the U.S. may now see more customers visiting the website.
Having a company's products available on its online store is not such a big deal, but for some reason it took BlackBerry a long time to make its smartphones available from its own ShopBlackBerry website.
The new program may also attract more potential buyers to the BlackBerry Q10 and BlackBerry Z10, especially since they can use the unlocked smartphones on AT&T and T-Mobile's networks.
It now remains to be seen just how long BlackBerry will take to add more devices to this program. The BlackBerry Q5 and BlackBerry Z30 should make their way to the U.S. store as well, but the company gave no additional details yet. BlackBerry should also expand this program to its home country of Canada, but it has yet to make an announcement in this regards.
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