Solavei selling first BlackBerry Z10 phones in US, just $999 each

You’d really have to want a BlackBerry Z10(s bbry) phone to get it early in the U.S. for nearly a grand, but that’s what Solavei is offering. On Monday, the¬†mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) added BlackBerry’s newest smartphone, which is currently available in the U.K. and Canada, to its U.S. lineup. The phone is officially expected to be first offered by major carriers in the U.S. at the end of February.

T-Mobile is striving to be the first in the U.S. to sell the BlackBerry Z10, which is ironic since Solavei¬†buys T-Mobile service at wholesale pricing and re-sells it along with specific unlocked phones. That means you can pay $999 now for the Z10 and use it on T-Mobile’s network or you can wait a few short weeks and pay far less; perhaps $199 with contract, depending on what T-Mobile decides to charge for the handset.

Solavei is likely using the early Z10 offer to attract more customers to its virtual network. The company sells unlimited monthly plans for $49 on unlocked phones and has a unique business model.

In addition to the low monthly fees, Solavei members can earn compensation by recruiting more customers to the network. The system reminds me of a multi-level marketing opportunity and the company claims to have paid out more than $4.1 million to its members. That’s a good chunk of change and I’ll bet those members high on the pyramid are the only ones that can afford a $999 BlackBerry.