There are no shortage of rumors and speculation when it comes BlackBerry 10 launching in the U.S. The "big four" carriers in the 50 states have remained relatively quiet when it comes to a launch date and pricing details. BlackBerry's official Twitter account sent out the above tweet reassuring everyone that's interested in BlackBerry 10 that they'll be arriving in "a few short weeks." Again, no timetable given. So we've decided to compile a list of what we do know when it comes to the U.S. launch and a couple of educated guesses as well.
Sorry Sprint users, only Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T will be getting the BlackBerry Z10
Whether it's the huge investment they've put on the iPhone, bad decision making, or simply thinking that no one would want a touchscreen BlackBerry device, Sprint has balked on the Z10, and will instead only carry the Q10. It's definitely disappointing news for customers of the third largest carrier in the United States, but you never know, they could decide to jump on the bandwagon later in the year if they see BlackBerry 10 having success with other carriers.
In the U.S., Verizon will have the white Z10 exclusively
Whenever a company gets an exclusivity deal on a certain model or color, you know they've paid a good chunk of change to make it happen. Much like with the exclusivity of the Storm series, it seems that Verizon really wants to get behind BlackBerry 10. Details are still sketchy as to how the deal was done, but few people could blame BlackBerry for accepting. Verizon is the U.S.A.'s largest and most popular network and their support will be hugely instrumental in mounting a comeback locally.
Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are rushing to be the first to get the Z10 into the U.S. market
Though it may not seem like it, according to our sources, all three carriers that will have the Z10 are trying hard to move up their launch dates. Unfortunately for us, this decision to ramp up the release was taken only after seeing how popular these devices have sold overseas, and in Canada. This lack of quick action has left AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon with too little time to move up their target release dates which were originally the last 10 days in March.
This is why it is our strong belief that we will not see the BlackBerry Z10 launching in the U.S. until, at least, March 20th. The March 13th on AT&T rumor has floated around as well for a few days, but unfortunately, that's two weeks from now and it's extremely unlikely for that to pan out in this short amount of time. The T-Mobile rumored date of March 27th may change as well, because they are really trying to be able to say they got BlackBerry 10 first.
There is some speculation as to why this delay in the U.S. occurred and the blame may not be all on carrier testing, but instead apps.
As we know, most of the "popular" apps (read Skype, WhatsApp) that were promised to be on the way at the launch event are still not on BlackBerry 10. It's understandable that it takes time to get them on here. Cool. Some apps that weren't promised, but we still know are coming (read Instagram, Netflix) haven't given any timetables or commitments either. It's possible that the U.S. carriers, being in the most difficult market for BlackBerry to win back, asked BlackBerry to have these apps ready for launch, and when they weren't, the launch dates were pushed back until a time they would be, end of March.
The more and more we think about it, the more it seems like the rest of the world has been a huge, awesome BlackBerry 10 beta test for the U.S. launch. In the weeks that have passed since January 30th, a ton of feedback has been given. A few bugs have been caught and have been worked out (like the calendar bug that's fixed with the latest leak), and OS 10.1 has been in testing and seems to be coming right around the corner.
Only time will tell exactly how each one of these situations comes to fruition. The truth is BlackBerry still has a ton of old loyal fans and up and coming new ones that are dying to get their hands on the Z10. Waiting is still the hardest part.