The Z10, which runs BlackBerry’s BB10 operating system, will be go on sale at AT&T (NYSE:T) stores on March 22, sources told Bloomberg. The launch of the phone in the U.S. is critical for the struggling handset maker. Blackberry derives roughly 20% of its revenue from the U.S.
Earlier this year, the company unveiled the BB10 operating system t0 great fanfare, even changing its name from Research in Motion to BlackBerry to highlight the debut.
Already available in 21 other countries, the Z10 is late hitting American stores due to longer device testing windows used by U.S. wireless carriers.
Though once the most popular smartphone maker, BlackBerry saw its fortunes plunge as consumers switched to rival phones, including Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and smartphones running Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS. The company has promised that there will be about 70,000 apps available for BB10 users at launch.
In addition to AT&T, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) will begin selling the Z10 at the end of the month. Sprint (NYSE:S) has decided to pass on the Z10. It will only offer the BlackBerry Q10, which features a physical keyboard, compared to the Z10’s touchscreen.
Shares of BlackBerry dropped more than 1% in Friday midday trading.