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Best Buy cuts price of BlackBerry

TORONTO — Best Buy Co. has cut the price of BlackBerry’s Z10 smartphone to $49.99 with a service contract, two weeks after the Canadian smartphone maker reported lackluster sales of the flagship touchscreen model.

The Z10 is available at that price with a two-year contract from Verizon Wireless or AT&T Inc., the retailer said on its website. The device originally went on sale in the United States in March at $199.99, on par with Apple’s iPhone.

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Sales of the Z10 last quarter were almost 1 million units short of analysts’ estimates, contributing to a surprise loss for BlackBerry. The company is now increasingly dependent on the newer Q10 phone, which features a physical keyboard and appeals to its existing customer base.

BlackBerry, which has steadily lost market share to Apple and other rivals, accounted for less than 3 percent of global smartphone sales last quarter, according to research firm IDC.

Shares of BlackBerry closed at $9.24 Friday, down 9 cents, or nearly 1 percent from the previous day. The stock has dropped 22 percent this year.

The Best Buy price cut was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

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