Overland Park, Kan. — Sprint will become the last of the four national carriers to offer a BlackBerry 10 OS smartphone on Friday when a Sprint-network BlackBerry Q10 becomes available at $199 with contract.
The phone, however, won’t be stocked by any brick-and-mortar stores. Sprint will offer the LTE-equipped device on its website and through its telemarketing staff, and consumers who want to buy it in Sprint stores or in indirect-channel stores will be able to order it through those locations for shipment to their homes, a spokesperson said.
The bar-style smartphone, equipped with hard QWERTY keyboard, has been available since June from Sprint’s three national rivals since June. BlackBerry’s other U.S.-market smartphone with the 10 OS, the full-touch Z10, has been available from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile since March. Sprint has elected not to offer the Z10.
For Sprint, the Q10 will be the carrier’s first LTE-equipped BlackBerry.
The Q10 and Z10 were unveiled in January to revive BlackBerry’s fortunes, but the company’s market share has continued to shrink, and the company recently announced plans to pursue strategic alternatives to boost its smartphone share.
Sprint’s version of the phone can be used with the carrier’s new Unlimited, My Way rate plan, which delivers unlimited talk, text and data while on the Sprint network for $80/ month for the first line. If additional lines are added to the account, the cost per additional line decreases to as little as $50/month for phones four through 10.
The My All-In Plan offers unlimited talk, text and data while on the Sprint network and 5GB of mobile hot spot usage for $110.
The Sprint Unlimited Guarantee gives customers unlimited talk to any wireline or mobile phone, text and data while on the Sprint network for the life of the line of service.