(VZ) Verzion Communications Wireless Unit to Offer BlackBerry Z10

Verzion Communications Inc. (VZ), the largest telecom carrier in the U.S., plans to follow suit with the second-largest carrier AT&T, Inc. (T), in launching Research In Motion Limited’s (BBRY) latest BlackBerry Z10.

Priced at $199.99, with a two-year contract, the smartphone is expected to hit the Verizon stores by Mar 28, just six days after its arrival at AT&T stores. Even T-Mobile USA, the third largest carrier of the country, disclosed that Z10 will be widely available in its stores from this week onwards, but did not mention the price of the phone.

The newly launched BlackBerry Z10 is a full touch screen smartphone having a much faster and smarter operating system (OS) than its predecessors and includes features like 1.5 GHz dual core processors, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage and an expandable memory card slot. Additionally, the phone has an astonishing camera, a superfast browser and is preloaded with social sites like Facebook (FB), Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn (LNKD).

Research In Motion’s BB10 OS will also support some of the most popular gaming applications including Angry Birds from Rovio and WhatsApp. However, the struggling handset manufacturer lags far behind Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android and Apple Inc.’s iOS Platform.

At present, Verizon Wireless is the largest 4G LTE service operator covering 89% of the total U.S. population. In a bid to boost 4G LTE data growth, the company is continuously expanding its 4G LTE device handsets.

At the end of 2012, Verizon Wireless had 92.5 million post-paid subscribers of which 58% of the customers are having smartphones. Such rapid adoption of smartphones has induced VZ to add handsets of different varieties to its portfolio. Moreover, the company is also looking for other smartphone options rather than selling highly subsidized Apple’s iPhones.

Currently, Verizon has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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