BUSINESS

BlackBerry 10 Release Date: Canada Gets Z10 On February 5

01/30/2013 11:36 EST | Updated 02/05/2013 12:43 EST

The long-awaited BlackBerry Z10 will hit Canadian stores on Feb. 5, and will be available for about $149 with a three-year contract, depending on the carrier, the company formerly known as RIM announced Tuesday.

That means Canadians will get their hands on the BlackBerry Z10 at least a month before Americans do, with the U.S. release date set tentatively for some time in March.

But U.K. customers will beat even Canadians to the punch — the BlackBerry Z10 goes on sale there on Jan. 31, just a day after the launch event.

PHOTOS: BLACKBERRY 10 LAUNCH

Rogers, Bell, Telus, Virgin, SaskTel, Koodo, and Fido are among the carrier partners, while Walmart, Future Shop, Best Buy, and The Source are some of the retail partners.

Canadian specific apps include offerings from the NHL, CBC, Tim Hortons, Air Canada, RBC, and ING Direct.

The price will likely make market analysts happy, as it is somewhat lower than what smartphone brands typically charge for a flagship device.

The company made the announcement Tuesday at the official launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system and smartphones at events in New York, Toronto and elsewhere around the world.

"I know what you're thinking — when can I get it?" CEO Thorsten Heins quipped as he announced the date, reflecting the frustration many BlackBerry users have felt over the repeated delays to the new BlackBerry phones.

RIM will be releasing the BlackBerry Q10 — a next-generation phone featuring its signature physical keyboard — sometime in April.

Research In Motion also announced it would be changing its name to BlackBerry.

The company also announced that celebrated singer Alicia Keys has been appointed its global creative director — a move sure to increase buzz around the phone rollout.

Keys will be working with app designers, content producers and developers in music and entertainment to develop new BlackBerry products.

With files from The Canadian Press

BLACKBERRY 10 LAUNCH

BlackBerry 10 Launch - Jan. 30, 2013