Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has seen some success with its new BlackBerry 10 operating system in other parts of the world. While there seemed to be some confusion with sales numbers for the touchscreen-only Z10 handset in the first few weeks of release, thee has been a certain palpability regarding the enthusiasm for the keyboard Q10 device virtually everywhere. But perhaps the big test for BlackBerry and the potential viability of this new OS – and perhaps the company as a whole – is coming this week.
You see, while the U.S. is not the largest smartphone market in the world, it is the largest developed market and it tends to be the bellwether for many tech devices. If a company like Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) wants to be successful, it likely has to meet or exceed expectations in the U.S. market. If the U.S. market embraces a product, then that product will likely have a future in the rest of the world. After a pretty long wait, loyal BlackBerry fans in the U.S., who have always been fond of the physical QWERTY keyboard, will begin to get their hands on the Q10 devices this week, as three of the major U.S. wireless carriers start taking orders for the new BlackBerry.
While AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) do not have the devices in their stores yet, both companies have been taking pre-orders, and Verizon announced that it would start shipping the devices by Thursday. Neither of the top two U.S. carriers have given any indication as to when they would have the devices on their store shelves for customers to see. T-Mobile USA is the other carrier that will have the Q10 available for customers this week.
Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) said it would offer the Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) Q10 handset sometime this summer. The phone will be offered for about $200 with a two-year service contract, according to the latest reports.
What are your thoughts? Are you one of the loyal Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) BlackBerry fans who has been patiently waiting for this new keyboard device? Or are you one of those skeptics? Give us your feedback on this launch in the comments section below.