It's too soon to call BlackBerry’s new OS and devices a success, but early sales numbers suggest that the company has had a good start. BlackBerry is seeing strong demand for the Z10, the first BlackBerry 10 handset to be available. The device has already been launched in the UK and is on pre-order in the UAE and Canada.
According to All Things D, channel checks by research firm Jefferies & Co reveal that pre-orders in the United Arab Emirates and BlackBerry’s home country have so far been “solid.” However, it is in the United Kingdom that the Z10 is off to a good start. Jefferies Analyst Peter Misek reports that people are queuing up outside retailers selling the Z10, and the white version of the phone has been widely sold out. The black Z10 is easier to come by in the UK, according to Misek, but stocks are reportedly limited.
The BlackBerry Z10 is a full touchscreen phone running on BB10
“We believe Carphone Warehouse is seeing widespread sell-outs, while O2, Vodafone, Orange and EE are seeing robust demand,” Misek told All Things D. “We estimate sell-in to be at least several hundred thousand units.”
If the estimate is correct, it would indeed be a wind of change for BlackBerry, whose stock price fell immediately after the phone was launched. Analysts expect numbers in the UK to be dwarfed by US demand, though. The UK is a far smaller market than the USA and Misek believes “strong sales could bode very well” for the US, which is said to be five times larger than the UK in terms of smartphone sales.
If the Z10 sees similar demand when it debuts in in March, BlackBerry may have a chance to regain some of its lost ground, a trend which began nearly five years ago. “To put [the numbers] in perspective, the iPhone had first weekend sales of 5 million plus in the US,” Misek said.
Here is a quick look at some of the highlighted features of the Z10:
- 4.2-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels
- LTE, 3G, EDGE, Wi-Fi, NFC
- GPS with A-GPS support
- Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
- 8 megapixel AF camera with 1080p recording; 2 megapixel front facing camera with 720p recording
- 16GB internal memory expandable up to 64GB via microSD
- Micro HDMI for AV out
Besides these, the phone is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. There is also an 1800 mAh battery that should keep the device running through the day.
BlackBerry spokeswoman Amy Jones said high early demand is a great boost for the company. “We have supplied initial shipments to our partners and carriers in Canada, the UK and the UAE,” Jones said. “We are very pleased that our partners are able to start selling the BlackBerry Z10 so quickly following our global launch event. We are extremely encouraged that the initial demand for the BlackBerry Z10 has been high.”