Do you like physical QWERTY keyboards? Have you been aching to get your hands on a new device? Well then, looks like the first week of June has been a general timeframe you've been looking forward to. Depending on which carrier you're using, that is. As we've seen plenty of times before with other devices, the BlackBerry Q10 is only sort of kind of available here in the United States right now, but that should be changing in a big way here shortly.
And when it does change, it means the end to BlackBerry's initial hardware and software bonanza. While many folks may have dismissed the BlackBerry Z10 for any number of reasons, the company's *other* flagship device is just about to hit wide availability, and that means the initial wave of invasion is almost finished.
Once the Q10 lands for every major carrier, we can hopefully start to see just how much the BlackBerry 10 platform, along with BlackBerry's new hardware, really is getting adopted by the customers out there in the wild.
Just in case you've forgotten what the BlackBerry Q10 has to offer you, here's the rundown: The Q10 packs a 3.1-inch capacitive touchscreen, with a Super AMOLED display and a 720x720 resolution. You'll find a 2MP camera above that display, and an 8MP camera on the back. The Q10 offers you 16GB of built-in storage, but also offers a microSD card slot, 2GB of RAM and a dual-core processor.
AT&T announced yesterday that they'll have the BlackBerry Q10 up for pre-order starting today, and that the pricing is set at $199.99. Unfortunately for the Big Blue carrier, though, if you head to AT&T's website to pre-order the device, you'll see that your new handset won't ship until June 18. That's quite the wait!
It's definitely quite the wait when you've got T-Mobile USA already selling the device right now, and they're even offering free overnight shipping. And then there's T-Mobile "uncarrier" plan, where you'll only have to put $99 down for the BlackBerry Q10, and then pay $20 per month for 24 months.
(That means the T-Mobile BlackBerry Q10 will run you $579 at the end of of your "contract." AT&T's BlackBerry Q10 will cost you $584.99 if you want to buy it outright, sans a contract.)
Verizon's BlackBerry Q10 is still available for pre-order right now, and the site is still showing a June 6 "ship-by" date. Big Red is offering the BBQ10 for $199.99 on a new, two-year contract, too. If you want to just buy the phone without a contract, though, it'll run you $599.99.
So, that's three of the four. What about Sprint? Interesting question, considering the Now Network was all adamant in the past about the Q10. So much so, in fact, that they chose to skip the Z10 altogether, and just put their focus on the physical QWERTY-packing handset instead. That didn't equal having it up for pre-order along with everyone else, apparently. And as of the time of this writing, there's no word on when the carrier will be launching the new device. But hey, if you just can't wait, there's the BlackBerry Bold 9930 up for sale, and for only $99.99 with a new, two-year contract. And only $499.99 without a contract!
So there we have it. With the exception of Sprint for now, BlackBerry is getting ready to flood the land with their final high-end BlackBerry 10 smartphone for the first half of the year, and in the nick of time, too. But, will it be the injection of life that BlackBerry 10 needs? After all, not much has changed on the platform side of things, especially when it comes to apps. It's just a new piece of hardware.
It is hard to dismiss that physical QWERTY keyboard, though. Fro many BlackBerry users, even new ones that have fallen in love with the BB10 mobile operating system, the physical keyboard is a must-have piece of functionality. So, for those folks, the wait is almost over. And, hey, we can hope that Sprint subscribers won't have to wait much longer, either, since they didn't even get a chance to play with the Z10 and see what BB10 is all about (unless you broke ranks for a bit and went into another wireless carrier's store).
Our own Anna Scantlin wrote about why she wants to love BlackBerry 10, but so far she just can't, and I can't help but feel like that same sentiment is felt in a lot of different places. I know plenty of people who just want to love BB10 for the sake of having something new, but unfortunately they can't give it a real shot yet without knowing their every day apps are supported on the platform. It's just the way things go, and unfortunately that won't change with a new piece of hardware that's available now, will be available very soon, or will be available in the coming weeks.
Unless, of course, BlackBerry is making a conscious effort to change it for the release of the Q10. Skype is a popular application and it saw support for the Q10 first, so could we see that same event happen with other apps down the line? It's certainly possible. But I imagine that BlackBerry will try harder to have apps work for both flagship devices right off the bat, just to try and shy away from any user dissidence.
And that leads me to you. I want to know if you've been eagerly anticipating the Q10. Did you pre-order it already? Are you going to pre-order it? Is there a chance you'll switch carriers to get the phone faster? Or are you continuing to wait on BlackBerry 10 until there's more support for the platform? Let me know!