I walked into a Phones4U on Oxford Street (flagship store) Saturday. The store too was just ending sales of its 'Sim-free handset' due to lack of stock. The manager was genuinely shocked by what he had seen. There was only a handful of contract-only phones left. To be fair, this location had devoted a full half of its retail space to BB10, the entire second floor. It was impressive BB Day in that store. Time was 2PM Saturday.
On Sunday AM, I called numerous Phones4U London stores and they reported being out of stock or minor stock restricted for contracts.
I checked out another major Phones4U outlet in a mall, it had three handsets left, also for contracts only. The managers were also very impressed with the opening. I asked them how it compared to the Nokia (NOK) Lumia, and he said there was absolutely no comparison, almost mocking the suggestions that Nokia had had a successful launch there.
I next walked into CarphoneWarehouse at the same mall. It was out of stock. I asked how the launch had gone, if he had any observations etc. He smiled and offered, "Our Oxford Street (Flagship UK store) had sold 400 handsets in a day, maybe two. They were wiped out." I asked if that was a good number and he chuckled back that it was simply a total blow-out.
So then I had asked him too how this compared to the Nokia Lumia launch. He said there was simply no comparison, 'that was a non-event.'
What are the ramifications for BlackBerry, who had been left for dead, to trump and knock Nokia/Lumia out of 3rd place? This is important because the market believes that the Nokia/Lumia launch was very successful, have a look here or here.
-The UK launch looks successful (Canada pre-launch flying too)
-eBay (EBAY) units are still selling north of $1200
-Users are very happy/ positive word of mouth 'movie has legs'
-The BB10 has shown it can appeal beyond the BB stalwarts (Shocking!)
-and all this without a keyboard?
The short RIMM / BBRY position on this stock is enormous (135M shares or 27% of the float) and shorts are going to come under great pressure very quickly if UK/ Canada news is positive given a US launch is only a month away. The trade that this was Palm all over again was simply too easy and lazy. Try to do your own due diligence, which involves seeing and handling a BB10. Professional Wall street channel checks will come in Monday, and if those are as bullish as mine, then it's, 'All in' time.