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BlackBerry Phones Unveiled Tomorrow in Italy, Germany

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- BlackBerry, the Canadian smartphone maker, will unveil its new BlackBerry 10 devices tomorrow in Germany and Italy, two of Europe’s biggest handset markets, as the company looks to revive slumping sales.

The phones, including the flagship Z10 touch-screen model, will be shown at events in Milan and Cologne, Germany, said Rebecca Freiburger, a spokeswoman for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company. Pricing and availability are expected to be announced at that time.

BlackBerry is counting on positive reviews for its new operating system to translate into a return to growth in western Europe, where it has lost ground to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Android handset makers led by Samsung Electronics Co. The company shipped 1.78 million BlackBerrys in western Europe in the fourth quarter, down from 3.36 million a year earlier, according to IDC.

The Z10 went on sale in the U.K. on Jan. 31 and in Canada on Feb. 5. The device will debut in Mumbai on Feb. 25, when pricing details and availability will be announced.

Still, investors are more focused on the rollout of the new models in the U.S., which remains BlackBerry’s biggest source of revenue. The Z10 isn’t due in that country until March.

BlackBerry’s sales in developing markets have held up better than in North America and Europe, though revenue is down globally. Sales from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. fell 53 percent last quarter from a year earlier. Revenue from the rest of the world, including India, dropped 44 percent.

BlackBerry fell 4.5 percent to $13.71 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 16 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen 6 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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