updated 12:15 pm EST, Mon February 11, 2013
Smartphone sold one-month before main carriers
The BlackBerry Z10 has gone on sale in the United States earlier than anticipated. Virtual operator Solavei, an MVNO that uses T-Mobile's network, is offering the smartphone through a deal with GSM Nation, where potential customers can pick up the Z10 for $1000 unsubsidized, and use it on Solavei's contract-free service.
The Z10, revealed at a global launch event last month, has a 4.2-inch, 1280x756-resolution display, and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor with 2GB of RAM. It also has a removable 1,800mAh battery, storage expandable by up to 32GB through a microSD slot, and also offers a rear 8-megapixel camera.
While the Z10 has gone on sale in the UK and Canada, it is not expected to reach the US until March, and at that time is believed will cost around $200 when combined with a two-year contract. The Q10, with it's smaller screen and built-in keyboard, is still scheduled for an April launch, though details concerning price is currently unknown.
Solavei is a relatively new operator to the US, opening for business in September 2012. It offers a contract-free service, where users can pay $50 per month for unlimited voice, text, and data. A referral scheme allows it's users to lower their bills by signing up new members, with every three referrals providing a $20 discount to a customer's monthly charge.