BlackBerry Z10 touch screen won't be offered by Sprint Nextel

BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins displays the new BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins displays the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones at the BlackBerry 10 launch event by Research in Motion at Pier 36 in Manhattan. (Jan. 30, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Sprint Nextel Corp. will be the only major U.S. carrier not to offer BlackBerry's new flagship Z10 touch-screen model when it debuts this month, opting instead to wait for the keyboard-equipped Q10.

Sprint, the third-largest U.S. mobile-phone service, plans to offer the Q10 later this year, said Mark Elliott, a spokesman for the Overland Park, Kansas-based carrier. That model has a physical keypad, in addition to a smaller touch screen.

"We aren't saying there's anything different about our customers," Elliott said. "We think our customers will be happy with the qwerty keyboard and touch screen on the Q10."

The move means Sprint won't be selling the flagship model of BlackBerry's new lineup, which is based on the revamped BB10 operating system. BlackBerry, based in Waterloo, Ontario, is trying to convince customers that a touch-screen device can work just as well as its traditional keyboard models. Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins said he expects its new touch devices to outsell keyboard models 3-to-1.

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