TORONTO (AP) — The maker of the BlackBerry phone said Tuesday that a modern smartphone with a physical keyboard will be available in Canada in the coming weeks as major wireless companies started taking advance orders.
Details on when the BlackBerry Q10 will go on sale elsewhere will be announced soon, Research In Motion Ltd. said. Advance orders are already being accepted in the U.K.
The BlackBerry, pioneered in 1999, had been the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other consumers before the iPhone debuted in 2007 and showed that phones can handle much more than email and phone calls. RIM faced numerous delays modernizing its operating system with the BlackBerry 10. During that time, it had to cut more than 5,000 jobs and saw shareholder wealth decline by more than $70 billion.
RIM surprised Wall Street last month by returning to profitability and shipping about 1 million touch-screen BlackBerry Z10 phones in the most recent quarter, which ended March 2. It will take several quarters, though, to know whether RIM is on a path toward a successful turnaround. RIM had just entered the critical U.S. market with the Z10 phone, and the more anticipated Q10 keyboard phone won't be on sale until late May or June because of testing by U.S. wireless companies.