Toronto: The chief executive of Research In Motion (RIM) says he’s disappointed the new BlackBerry won’t be released in the US until mid-March, but he says early data suggests sales in the UK are above expectations.

Thorsten Heins said on Monday in an interview with The Associated Press that he would be lying if he said he wasn’t disappointed in the mid-March US release date.

But he says the US and its phone carriers have a rigid testing system. RIM unveiled the new phone last week and announced a March US release date.

The first device in the new crop of revamped BlackBerrys will be the touchscreen Z10. It was released in the UK last Thursday and will be released in Canada on Tuesday.