It’s probably safe to assume TCL never expected its BlackBerry KEYone to generate such “extraordinary” consumer interest in North America. Sadly, you still can’t purchase a Verizon-specific version of the long-lasting 4.5-inch Android smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard from Best Buy, and the unlocked Walmart debut up north a few days ago turned out to be a huge misunderstanding.
The Canadian branch of the world’s largest retailer apparently shipped DTEK60 units in lieu of promised KEYones at $650 a pop, raising the price of the actual physical keyboard-sporting device to $730 while again listing the battery powerhouse as “out of stock.”
The assumption is the unlocked BlackBerry KEYone will ultimately be released in Canada sometime in August, possibly after going official in India. The regional arm of BlackBerry Mobile has been teasing an arrival over the past few days, though dates and price tags remain under wraps.
— BlackBerry Mobile IN (@BBMobileIndia) July 29, 2017
As for US-based QWERTY enthusiasts, we bear good news today, with Sprint inventory finally expanded from the online channel to brick and mortar stores nationwide. The KEYone costs $528 outright, or $22 a month for two years, from the Now Network, whereas a GSM unlocked flavor sets you back a cool $550 through your local Best Buy. That’s likely worth it… if the screen is better glued in than a little while ago.