BlackBerry’s Q10 smartphone with physical keyboard to be sold in Canada this month

BlackBerry’s long-awaited Q10 smartphone, the first BlackBerry 10 device to incorporate the company’s renowned tactile keyboard, will be available for Canadians to purchase at the end of the month.

The BlackBerry Q10 was first announced alongside the Waterloo, Ont.-based manufacturer’s Z10 touchscreen device in January, and is regarded as the crucial second chapter in BlackBerry’s most recent comeback effort.

BlackBerry revealed in its fourth-quarter 2013 earnings report that it had shipped more than one million units of its Z10 smartphone. It debuted in the U.K. on Jan. 31, followed by a Canadian release on Feb. 5. Nearly two months later, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless began selling the Z10 in the U.S. at the end of March.

However, some analysts believe that BlackBerry diehards may be holding out for the physical keyboard on the Q10.

“It’s iconic for them, that’s for sure,” said IDC Canada’s senior mobility analyst Krista Napier. “I think at least here in Canada, there are a niche group of people who have been using the keyboard for a long time.”

Meanwhile, RBC Capital Markets financial analyst Mark Sue said last month in a note that it’s possible Blackberry diehards might skip the Z10 launch entirely, opting instead to wait for the Q10…

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