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What: Shares of BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) have soared today by as much as 13% on U.S. availability and acquisition rumors.
So what: No. 2 domestic carrier AT&T (NYSE:T) announced that the BlackBerry Z10 will launch on March 22 at $199 on contract, with pre-sales beginning tomorrow. In an interview with French publication Les Echos, Lenovo CEO Yang Yanqing stoked speculation of the PC giant acquiring BlackBerry, saying it "could perhaps make sense."
Now what: One of the reasons investors were initially disappointed with BlackBerry 10's launch in January was that U.S. availability was being delayed until March due to carrier testing. Ma Bell's announcement is the first firm date when the Z10 will be available in the U.S. Lenovo doesn't currently have a strong position in the smartphone market, and Yang's comments were about the company possibly buying its way in, much like it did with PCs. Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, who is bullish on BlackBerry, believes an acquisition is unlikely.
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