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Verizon Plans BlackBerry Z10 Availability On March 28

Basking Ridge, N.J. — Verizon Wireless will follow AT&T in launching the BlackBerry Z10, one of two new smartphones that BlackBerry unveiled in January to turn around its declining fortunes.

Verizon will begin taking preorders on March 14 for the $199 LTE-equipped Z10, with availability starting March 28. AT&T previously announced March 22 availability for an LTE-equipped Z10 for its network at $199 and started presales on March 12.

Verizon had previously announced the $199 price point but hadn’t specified an availability date.

For its part, Best Buy announced plans to accept in-store preorders for the Verizon-network Z10 on March 14 and offer the device on March 28. The company has already launched preorders for the AT&T version in its stores and website.

Best Buy will launch online preorders for the Verizon and T-Mobile models “soon,” the retailer added.

The Verizon-network model will be available in black or white, with the latter being exclusive to the carrier. It will also be global-ready. Other global-ready Verizon phones operate in GSM/EDGE and W-CDMA in the 850/900/1800/1900 MHz bands to provide voice and 3G HSPA+ data service in more than 220 countries. Without those technologies, the phone would make voice calls and access 2G and 3G data in only 40 countries outside the U.S., including Mexico, Canada, China and India.

At the company’s launch event in January, BlackBerry said the touchscreen-only Z10 would be available in March in the U.S. T-Mobile also plans to offer the Z10 this month. Sprint hasn’t announced Z10 plans but has said it would offer the Q10.

At its launch event, BlackBerry said the Q10 with hard QWERTY keyboard and smaller touchscreen would be available in April in select countries but didn’t specify which countries.