AT&T will begin preorders of BlackBerry Z10 today

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AT&T Inc., the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier, will begin taking consumers’ orders for BlackBerry’s new flagship Z10 phone today, ahead of the device going on sale March 22.

The Z10 will sell for $199.99 with a two-year agreement, Dallas-based AT&T said. It is the first phone to run BlackBerry’s new BB10 operating system, the linchpin of the Canadian smartphone company’s comeback bid.

The U.S. rollout of the Z10 trails its debut in other countries, a delay that BlackBerry has attributed to a lengthier testing process by American carriers. With the new phone, BlackBerry and AT&T are looking to entice customers into ditching the physical keyboard that was once BlackBerry’s hallmark in favor of a touch-screen interface.