03/22/2013 11:49 EDT | Updated 05/22/2013 05:12 EDT

BlackBerry Z10: Sales In U.S. Market Begin (UPDATE)

CORRECTS PHONE MODEL NAME TO Z10 INSTEAD OF 10 - Arun Kumar, a senior product manager for BlackBerry, shows off the new BlackBerry Z10 during the global launch of the company's new smartphones in Toronto on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. BlackBerry is promising a speedy browser, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone, the fruit of a crucial, long-overdue makeover for the company. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

UPDATE: BlackBerry shares fell steeply on Friday as the company launched its Z10 phone in the United States.

Initial reports suggested there was a lack of line-ups at stores selling the new phone, and a lack of buzz in the U.S. media surrounding its launch, MarketWatch reported.

As of 3:55 pm ET, BlackBerry shares were down 7.5 per cent on the day, trading at $14.95 (U.S.) per share on the NASDAQ.

But negative comments from market analysts also likely helped sink the stock.

"They've done a nice job in rolling out the Z10; unfortunately, I still don't think it's going to be enough to turn the company around," BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

BlackBerry stock may have come under further pressure due to a rumour that the the U.S. Department of Defense was planning to ditch the BlackBerry and buy 650,000 iPhones.

The Pentagon has denied the report, according to Business Insider.

The Canadian Press reports:

TORONTO - After a delayed launch of the new BlackBerry Z10 in the United States, the touchscreen smartphone now is being sold by major wireless carrier AT&T.

Today's U.S. launch comes about six weeks after the new BlackBerry went on sale in Canada and the United Kingdom.

A keyboard version of the new BlackBerry Z10 isn't expected out in the U.S. for another several months.

The Waterloo, Ont.,-based smartphone maker has lost significant share of the tech-savvy U.S. market where consumers have preferred to buy Apple's iPhone and Android smartphones.

Shares in BlackBerry were up 13 cents to $16.65 in late morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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