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Skype comes to BlackBerry Q10 as new QWERTY handset gets exclusive Selfridges launch in UK

Popular VoIP service Skype has finally released an app for BlackBerry 10 – just in time for the release of the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone, which is now available in the UK exclusively from iconic Oxford Street retailer Selfridges.

In fact, as the new Skype app requires BlackBerry version 10.1 to run, it will only be available on the QWERTY-sporting handset for the time being - full-touchscreen stablemate the BlackBerry Z10 is still waiting on the incremental update.

Microsoft-owned Skype said that the Z10 would get the necessary boost "in the near future" and added that more "big name applications" are on the way to BB10.

Skype for BB10 is officially being described as a "preview" and is understood to be based on an Android port. However, it comes with a number of well developed and integrated features, including notifications in the BlackBerry Hub and a new UI optimised for the Q10's relatively diminutive 3.1in display.

BlackBerry launched its BB10 OS back in January, showcasing the platform on a pair of new handsets - the 4.3in Z10 and the physical keyboard-toting Q10. But while the former, consumer-oriented handset was made available almost immediately, potential buyers have had to wait some three months to get their hands on its enterprise-friendly sidekick.

The device will be made widely available in the UK on 29 April following the exclusive BlackBerry Q10 launch at Selfridges today (26 April). Interested parties in Canada will get access to the Q10 on 1 May, while the US market will have to wait a little bit longer - it's "late-May" for our Stateside chums.

Skype for BlackBerry 10 is currently available for free download in the BlackBerry World app store.