“CrackBerrys,” those devoted BlackBerry users itching to get the phone maker’s newest model, will do so before the end of March, a Verizon executive says.

However, for those wanting the more traditional BlackBerry with a keyboard, the wait will extend until summer.

The touch-screen Z10 will hit shelves next month.

But Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile-phone carrier, doesn’t plan to offer the BlackBerry Q10 keyboard-equipped smartphone until summer, signaling that customers will have to wait four months or more for the device.

BlackBerry has said that the Q10 will be available as soon as April. The phone complements the touch-screen Z10 model, which is already available in some markets though not the U.S.

That phone will be offered by Verizon at the end of March, Verizon Communications Inc. Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said Monday at a Morgan Stanley investment conference.

Sales Begin in India

Meanwhile, BlackBerry began selling the Z10 handset in India today.

The cost is $800.

Apple iPhones are slightly more expensive while Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Note II costs about a third less.

The Z10 is central to Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry’s bid to revive sales after it posted three losses in four quarters amid global competition from Apple and Samsung. 

Nationwide smartphone sales could increase almost 50 percent this year to $4 billion and could cross $7 billion by 2016, according to Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC. The rising sales, caused by economic growth and improving wireless networks, have also prompted Samsung and Apple to boost their presence in the country.

BlackBerry maintains a research and development operation in the Research Triangle, N.C. area.

(Bloomberg contributed to this report.)