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First BlackBerry 10 phone could be out on February 28 wearing a $799 price tag

BlackBerry 10 Date LeakResearch in Motion will unveil BlackBerry 10 in just over two weeks time on January 30, but you won’t be able to buy the phones running the new operating system until sometime after the global launch event. The exact date should be revealed on the day, however in November last year, RIM’s chief operating officer let slip in an interview that BB10 phones would be on sale within 30 days of the event.

Now, an image has circulated on the Internet purportedly showing a screenshot taken from Best Buy Canada’s stock control system, where a BlackBerry 10 device headed for the Bell network is listed for release on February 28. Coincidentally – or not – that’s 29 days after the official debut.

What’s more, the screenshot also provides the retail price of the phone, a rather high $799. Although which model of BlackBerry 10 this refers to isn’t stated, we’d be surprised if the QWERTY N Series device was so extravagantly priced, and expect this to be for the touchscreen Z10. Even so, a presumably SIM-free cost of $800 puts it just $50 shy of an unlocked 64GB iPhone 5 from Apple, and at least $250 more than the average cost of a 16GB Samsung Galaxy S3.

Of course, there’s nothing to say the price – or the release date, for that matter – seen in the image is genuine, and both could be placeholders waiting for RIM to provide solid, official information at the end of the month.

We had the chance to spend some quality time with BlackBerry 10 during CES 2013, and found it had improved considerably since out first meeting with RIM’s potential savior some six months ago. However, here’s hoping that steep price tag isn’t right, as the last thing RIM wants to do is price itself out of the market.