Update: A new report suggests that the Z10 will land at AT&T not on March 15, but exactly one week later.
According to unnamed sources speaking with Bloomberg, the carrier will indeed get the new BlackBerry 10 phone this month, though not until March 22.
AT&T declined to comment for Bloomberg's report, while BlackBerry told the publication that it can't confirm rumors related to launch dates of carrier partners, so we'll just have to sit tight until March 22 comes knocking.
According to a report from N4BB, receiving word from unnamed sources, the touchscreen BB phone will be available starting next Friday, March 15. This is reportedly the same availability date for "big box retail locations," though no names were named.
The date might put the jump on T-Mobile, which in February claimed it was aiming to launch the device in mid-March.
Frank Sickinger, T-Mo USA's head of business sales, said at the time that the BB10 handset is zipping through testing, making that middle-of-the-month release a real possibility. Though we're lacking the same public vote of confidence from AT&T, Ma Bell may be experiencing similar results.
TechRadar asked both BlackBerry and AT&T for comment on N4BB's report. AT&T got back to us with a "no update at this time" reply, and we'll update this story if and when BlackBerry responds.
AT&T, like most carriers, is playing its cards close to the chest. So, it's hard to ascertain whether it plans on announcing the phone's customer readiness next week or not.
N4BB's anonymously sourced report could turn out to be inaccurate, but we nearing the half way point of of the month when BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said he expects the phone to start selling in the States.
We wouldn't be surprised then if all the pieces line up, AT&T will do what it can to stake the claim as the first U.S. carrier to sell the Z10 - for less than $999, of course. It's likely AT&T will offer the phone along the price Verizon announced - $199 on contract.
The Z10 is already on sale in the U.K., Canada and a few other regions, but the big fruit BlackBerry wants to pick is the U.S.
The country is the leg on which BlackBerry's success rests on, and if the Z10 and to a lesser degree QWERTY Q10 fail to take off here, well, doomsday could come knocking.
For AT&T (OK, all) customers out there interested in picking up the Z10, check out our hands on review of the device:
We're curious, U.S. shoppers: does the Z10 tickle your fancy? Any plans to pick it up when it becomes available? Or are there other handsets calling your name?
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