RIM will sell its smartphone to AT&T customers March 22

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion will begin selling its new touchscreen smartphone to U.S. consumers with AT&T on March 22. The release will come several weeks after RIM launched the much-delayed devices elsewhere.

AT&T said Monday that the Z10 will be available for $199.99 with a two-year contract. Sales of the device began in the U.K. and Canada shortly after RIM unveiled the phone in late January.

Rival U.S. carrier T-Mobile said it expects to deliver the new BlackBerry for some corporate customers as soon as the end of this week, although it did not provide details on the availability for non-business customers.

The redesigned BlackBerry is RIM’s attempt at a comeback. The pioneering brand lost its cachet not long after Apple’s 2007 release of the iPhone, which reset consumers’ expectations for what a smartphone should do.

RIM Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said previously he was disappointed the new BlackBerry would not be released in the U.S. until mid-March, but he said the U.S. and its phone carriers have a rigid testing system.

Maine gasoline prices down nearly two cents per gallon

Maine gas prices are down nearly two cents per gallon, but remain well above the national average.

Price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reported Monday that the average retail cost of a gallon of gasoline has dropped in the past week to $3.80.

The national average fell more than three cents per gallon in the same time, to an average of $3.66.

Prices in Maine are now about two cents lower than they were a year ago but still more than three cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

The Maine prices are based on a survey of more than 1,200 gas stations in the state.

A company analyst warned drivers not to get too comfortable with the falling prices, as one mishap could send prices higher.

– From news service reports