Rogers to release BlackBerry Q10 soon

BlackBerry Z10’s QWERTY sibling, the Q10, will be available in Rogers Communications retail and dealer locations across Canada in the “coming weeks,” according to the carrier.

The smart phone, which features a physical keyboard and touch screen, is being offered by Rogers at a starting price of $199.99 with a three year plan.

“We are excited to be the first to offer Canadians a choice of the black or limited-time exclusive white BlackBerry Q10, enabled to run on our blazing fast 2600 MHz LTE spectrum,” said John Boynton, executive VP of marketing and chief marketing officer for Rogers.
 

The Q10 runs on BlackBerry’s new operating system the BB10, which also powers the fully-touch-enabled Z10 handset that was released in Canada in February. While the Z10 is now being sold by other Canadian carriers, Rogers claims it will be the first to one to sell the Q10.
 
Bell Canada, however, had earlier released a pre-registration page on its Web site where smart phone user can pre-order the Q10. The company said that pre-orders will be taken starting April 19, with availability “soon after.” It will cost $199 on a three year plan, or $699 for the phone alone.
 
Today, Telus Mobility said it is also taking free orders for the Q10. The carrier is offering the hand set for $199 on a three year contract or $700 outright with a month-to-month plan. Also today Videotron announced it will start carrying the Z10 Wednesday and the Q10 shortly.

Earlier this month, Rogers expanded its LTE 26000 network to 44 new markets. Among the 44 LTE markets launching this spring are: Saint John, N.B.; Medicine Hat, Alta.; Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.; Guelph, Ont.; Muskoka, Ont.; Collingwood, Ont.; and several cities in Quebec. At that time, Boynton said Rogers will be releasing more 26000-enabled devices in the coming months. He said among there were the LG Optimus G2600, the Rocket Stick, Rocket Hub and the Rocket Mobile Hotspot.

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The Q10 has a 3.1-inch display with a resolution of 720×720; it is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor. It has an 8MP camera that can shoot 1080p HD videos, a 2MP front facing camera and 2GB of RAM. The handset has 16 GB of internal storage and a 2100mAh battery. The phone’s dimensions are 19.6mmx66.8mmx10.35mm and it has LTE, Wi-Fi and near field communications (NFC) capability.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government yesterday announced that it has lent the Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica SA the equivalent of $265 million to help the company purchase BlackBerry smart phones.

Export Development Canada said the agreement will help strengthen the relations between the Spanish carrier and BlackBerry. Release of the Q10 in Europe is also underway.