Feb 5, 2013 / 6:35 am
Canadians who have clung to their aging BlackBerrys finally have an upgrade.
The company behind the once-dominant smartphone made its new touchscreen device, the BlackBerry Z10, available in stores across the country.
In contrast to some of Apple's product launches, however, the mood outside key Toronto stores was subdued.
There was no lineup at the Rogers store that was the site of the iPhone's launch in Canada and it was similarly quiet at Rogers headquarters, where chief executive Thorsten Heins met with the telecom carrier's CEO for a staged event.
The launch comes after several delays left some longtime BlackBerry fans sticking with their older phones or switching to a competitor's phone.
Some analysts have been concerned that BlackBerry's launch came too late to recover the lustre of its name.
But anecdotes from the U.K., where the phone launched last week, suggest the new BlackBerry is selling at a steady pace.
The company's stock was up a again in pre-market trade in the United States, following a 15 per cent increase on Monday. Despite the recent runup, BlackBerry stock remains below a 52-week high set on Jan. 24 following a spate of declines attributed to profit-taking by investors.
BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins told the BNN business television channel Tuesday that early sales in the United Kingdom and pre-registration results in Canada are encouraging.
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