BlackBerry gets ready to ship limited edition Z10 to developers

The smartphone will start shipping within the next five to seven weeks

BlackBerry is getting closer to shipping a red, limited edition version of the Z10 to selected developers who have created applications for its new BlackBerry 10 OS.

The company is planning to distribute 12,000 units of the device as a thank-you to developers. The first units will begin to ship in five to seven weeks, according to a blog post.

Eligible developers must have used the BlackBerry 10 Native SDK, WebWorks or the SDK for Adobe AIR.

Earlier this month the company had some bad news for U.S. developers on Verizon Wireless. Due to "unforeseen circumstances beyond its control" the company won't be able to offer them the phone. If they want stay on Verizon's network they can get the regular Z10 instead when it ships, the company said.

The Z10 was announced on Jan. 30 and runs the new BlackBerry 10 OS. It has a 4.2-inch screen, 2GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel camera. The limited edition phone has the same specs, but is red instead of black or white.

The company also plans to release the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C phone to help developers ensure that their applications work well with the upcoming Q10, which has a physical QWERTY keyboard.

BlackBerry Jam Europe attendees will be contacted this week with details about the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C device program. The devices will ship to developers that qualify for the program within the next five to seven weeks.

The Q10 will start shipping in April in some countries, but BlackBerry still isn't able offer any specifics on U.S. availability, a spokeswoman said via email.

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