See this article - Slim BlackBerry pickings as demand for Z10 outstrips supply (Google it)
Retailers in the UAE have been unable to keep up with demand for BlackBerry's Z10 handset, the long-awaited smartphone tipped to decide the fate of the struggling Canadian brand.
The Emirates is one of the first markets chosen for the launch of the phone, the first to run on the BB10 operating system, with sales starting on Sunday night.
While retailers said demand was high, some said they face limited supplies of the new handset.
Nadeem Khanzadah, the head of retail at Jumbo Electronics, said there was a shortage of supply of the new smartphone.
"At this moment we do not have enough stock … we expect to sell out by tomorrow," he said. "The response has been great so far."
The Z10 is likely to do as well as Samsung's SIII and the iPhone 5, said Mr Khanzadah. "This is one of the biggest launches along the lines of the SIII and the iPhone 5. It will be a straight fight between all three."
Neelesh Bhatnagar, the chief executive of Emax Electronics, also reported that the Z10 had been selling out. "BlackBerry has told us that they will ensure there will be enough stock. They do not want to miss out on any sales. This phone is important and will be deciding the company's future."
The BB10 operating system was officially launched on January 31. The touch-screen Z10 is the first device from the range, while the Q10, which features traditional keyboard buttons, is expected to be launched by April. Retailers expect the Q10 to do especially well as it will be priced lower than the Z10, which is currently on sale for Dh2,599 (US$707).
In the UAE, du is offering a new financing plan to allow customers to buy the Z10 handset in 12 instalments of Dh255 per month, at 0 per cent interest.
Existing BlackBerry customers on some pre-paid packages will have to upgrade to more expensive subscriptions to receive services on the Z10 handset.
Etisalat will not be offering the BlackBerry Social package priced at Dh49 for the BB10 platform, while du's similar package, priced at Dh30, will not be available either.
Ashish Panjabi, the chief operating officer of Jacky's Electronics, said there was strong demand despite some drawbacks to the new smartphone.
"There will be teething issues in the beginning, for example WhatsApp is not available [and] we are uncertain whether BBM Voice and Video will be available here," said Mr Panjabi. "But there has been a lot of pent-up demand. A lot of people have been waiting to upgrade their BlackBerry phones."