BlackBerry maker Research In Motion will begin selling its new touchscreen smartphone to U.S. consumers with AT&T on March 22. The release will come several weeks after RIM launched the much-delayed devices elsewhere.
AT&T said Monday that the Z10 will be available for $199.99 with a two-year contract. Sales of the device began in the U.K. and Canada shortly after RIM unveiled the phone in late January.
Rival U.S. carrier T-Mobile said it expects to deliver the new BlackBerry for some corporate customers as soon as the end of this week, though it did not provide details on the availability for non-business customers.
The redesigned BlackBerry is RIMs attempt at a comeback. The pioneering brand lost its cachet not long after Apples 2007 release of the iPhone, which reset consumers expectations for what a smartphone should do.
RIM Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said previously he was disappointed the new BlackBerry would not be released in the U.S. until mid-March, but he said the U.S. and its phone carriers have a rigid testing system.
Investor Icahn signs agreement with Dell
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who is fighting Dell Inc. founder Michael Dells plan to take the struggling company private, has entered a confidentiality agreement that would give him access to the computer makers financial records.
Michael Dell, who is also Dells CEO, is planning a $24.4 billion buyout that would make the Round Rock, Texas, company a privately owned business. But Icahn and other investors say the price of $13.65 a share is too low.
Icahns company, Icahn Enterprises, has said it holds a substantial stake in the company.
Icahn wants the company to pay a special dividend of $9 a share, financed with existing cash and new debt, if shareholders reject the buyout offer.
Icahn wrote in his letter to Dell last week that the PC makers future is bright, and all shareholders should benefit.
China’s auto sales surge 19.5 percent
Chinas auto sales accelerated in the first two months of this year, rising 19.5 percent over the same period of 2012 in a possible positive sign for an economic recovery.
Automakers sold 2.8 million cars in January and February, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported Monday. Total sales, including trucks and buses, rose 14.7 percent to 3.4 million vehicles.
That growth was an improvement over 2012s full-year rate of 7.1 percent for cars and 4.3 percent for vehicles overall.
We expect cyclical recovery in the Chinese economy to continue in 2013, said JP Morgan economist Haibin Zhu in a report. The gradual improvement in the macro environment would likely support some moderate growth in auto sales during the year.
E-commerce giant Alibaba names CEO
Alibaba Group, one of the worlds biggest e-commerce companies, said Monday its executive vice president will succeed founder Jack Ma as chief executive.
Ma, 48, announced in January he was stepping down as CEO of the Beijing firm to make way for younger leaders. He stayed on as chairman.
Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi, a 13-year veteran of the company, will take over in May as CEO.