Charting BlackBerry’s performance as it mounts its long-promised comeback is no easy feat. The company’s new Z10 smartphone has been available in some markets for nearly a month now, and it has yet to announce any hard sales figures, saying only that early sales are much better than some numbers it declines to quantify. But this week, BlackBerry did provide some additional data that offers a bit of insight into how the Z10 is faring at market.
Speaking at an industry event this week, Richard Piasentin, managing director of BlackBerry’s U.S. business, said a lot of early Z10 buyers are new to BlackBerry. According to the company’s preliminary sales data, about half of the Z10s it has sold in Canada so far have been purchased by customers who have never owned a BlackBerry. Evidently, a similar scenario is playing out in the U.K., where about a third of Z10 sales are going to BlackBerry newbies.
Now, as BlackBerry notes, this is preliminary data, and should be treated as such. But even so, it’s encouraging to hear that the Z10’s appeal might extend beyond BlackBerry loyalists. The company’s comeback hinges not just on convincing existing customers to stick with BlackBerry, but proving itself a viable alternative to iOS and Android devices.
The Z10 is a major upgrade from iPhone and Android devices -- an iPhone for grownups!
I bought BB shares in Sept. for 6.94, and sold at $17 in the days before the Canadian launch. All that time I had an iPhone in my pocket! By the time the Z10 came out, I had seen enough previews to want one. And what an upgrade it is! I now find the "home button" on my iPad awkward; ditto for the overall iOS experience; it feels choppy and rough, like a stick shift tractor. Instantly outdated IMO. And what a great feeling to browse the web on a Z10 -- the speed is incredible. No more "flash player not installed" messages! Steve Jobs had great design sense, but was a headstrong control freak, and iOS users are paying the price.
BB loyalists are waiting for the Q10 with physical keyboard IMO. Good times ahead!