Canadian tech firm BlackBerry rolled out the Z10 model in Sydney on Monday a month after the global launch of the device and four days after Samsung unboxed the Galaxy S4 in New York.
Aussies who want to order the unit, which features a 4.2-inch touchscreen display, could place pre-orders with Optus which will ship the gadget on March 25. Optus, according to its Web site, has the following seven packages for the Z10.
Telstra will bring in the Z10 on March 26, but it has no price offers yet. Vodafone has dropped hits it may carry BlackBerry 10 units in the later part of 2013.
Unlike previous BlackBerry generations that required connection to a workplace BES system or to sign up for a BIS plan, any plan with data and voice services can now be used with the Z10, but it no longer offers unlimited mail and browsing.
The unit's specs include 350 megapixels display, rounded corners and smooth back casing, 1.5GHz processor, dual-core with 2GB of RAM, and 8 megapixels back shooter and 2 megapixels front camera.
Thorsten Heins, the chief executive officer of BlackBerry, said at the launch that the company would soon have 100,000 native apps available for the Z10 units in time for the U.S. launch later this week.
While he lauded rival Apple for introducing touch devices to the market, Mr Heins said the rapid pace of advancement in the global smartphone market has left the iPhone of the California-based tech firm founded by Steve Jobs near obsolescence.
"History repeats itself again I guess . . . the rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don't innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly. The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about is now five years old," The Australian Financial Review quoted the Mr Heins.
He cited as proof that the new generation of Blackberry phones could multi-task by running multiple apps at the same time similar to what they could do if they are using laptops.
BlackBerry plans to roll out the Q10 model in the later part of 2013. It will have a physical keyboard, but the firm has no definite public roll out date set yet.
A woman holds a BlackBerry Z10 smartphone featuring high security Secusite software, used for governmental communication, at the booth of Secusmart during preparations at the CeBit computer fair in Hanover, March, 4, 2013.