BlackBerry Z10 release watch: Coming to Australia, the U.S., and the U.K.

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By Gilda Galang | February 15, 2013 4:36 PM EST

Previous launches of the BlackBerry Z10 have continually made headlines for its success, both in sales and reception. This time, it seems that BlackBerry is fast-tracking developments to cater to more consumers.

A SIM-free Z10 is slated for release in the U.K. in a week, reports Digital Spy. This is good news for those who have been waiting for the unlocked version of the BlackBerry Z10.

While there is yet to be a definite date and price tag for the SIM-free handsets, Pocket-Lint reports that it may come at a bigger price.

But consider this a minor bump as users can enjoy a planned per-month spending instead of a two-year lock-in period with a carrier.

In the U.S., BB10 fans can also expect the Z10's release mid-march, in line with T-Mobile's push to become the first carrier of the Z10 in the U.S.

According to reports from TechCrunch, the Z10 will be available for a two-year agreement at $199. But with the expected release still a month away, other carriers may still jump the bandwagon and beat T-Mobile to the BB10 craze.

Australia should also look forward to the sale of the Z10 in late March, reports Sydney Morning Herald. The handset will be featured on the 3G and 4G networks for Telstra and Optus.

Former BlackBerry co-CEO sells his stake in company

Developments in the BlackBerry headquarters are also fast-moving, ironically inversely alongside the success of its launch.

The Age reports that former co-CEO of the BlackBerry company Jim Balsillie has sold his entire stake-5% of the stake-just after stepping down last year.

Balsillie was considered as a strong force backing up BlackBerry since he joined in 1992. Related reports show that the current CEO Thorsten Heins revealed the plan of licensing the BlackBerry 10 OS to phone manufacturers.

"The question is which price points can we achieve. The cost of the technology is pretty high at the moment for a full-fledged smartphone," Heins said to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Whether this is BlackBerry's clawing attempt to break through from its current third rank in the smartphone market-after giants Google Android and Apple iOS-or if it's merely a move to ensure the brand stays in the public's consciousness remains to be seen.

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