A woman uses a new touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 smartphone.
(Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis via USA Today)
Columbia, SC (WLTX/Brett Molina, USA Today) -- The BlackBerry Z10 will make its U.S. debut next week.
Wireless carrier AT&T confirmed it will launch the smartphone on March 22 for $199.99, with a two-year contract. Pre-orders kick off tomorrow.
The Z10 will also be available on T-Mobile and Verizon, although neither carrier has revealed specific launch dates.
The touchscreen Z10 is the first device that will run the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which includes a modern smartphone interface and features such as BlackBerry Balance for custom home screens and video chat for BlackBerry Messenger. As for the hardware itself, the device has a 4.2-inch display and 8-megapixel camera.
The Z10 will also feature Time Shift, a camera feature that captures the moments before and after you press the shutter button, that lets you choose the best shot, and BlackBerry Story Maker, which lets you weave those moments together to create a movie in just a couple of swipes.
The launch of the Z10 is an important one for BlackBerry, as the smartphone manufacturer tries to climb back toward the top of a market dominated by Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems.
BlackBerry also plans on launching a touchscreen smartphone with physical keyboard, the Q10, later this year.