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09:56 AM

BlackBerry Touts 'Record' Z10 Sales

BlackBerry says sales of its Z10 smartphone are off to a strong start in Canada and the U.K., but doesn't offer hard data.

BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Sales of the BlackBerry Z10 are off to a roaring start, if we're to believe the statement issued by BlackBerry Wednesday afternoon.

"In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone," said Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of BlackBerry. "In fact, it was more than 50% better than any other launch day in our history in Canada."

The Z10 went on sale in Canada earlier this week via several of the company's wireless network operator partners, including Bell, Rogers and Telus. The device features a 4.2-inch touch display with 1280 x 720 pixels, a dual-core 1.5-GHz processor, 8-megapixel camera, as well as Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi and NFC. It runs the new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

The Z10 hit U.K. retailers on February 1, and BlackBerry appeared to corroborate early analyst reports suggesting that it is off to a strong start there, as well.

[ Want to know the pluses and minuses of the new BlackBerry platform? See BlackBerry 10: Not All The Right Moves. ]

"In the U.K., we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone," said Heins.

Retail checks performed over the weekend suggested that BlackBerry had sold through its initial supply of the Z10 in the U.K. Since BlackBerry isn't talking hard sales numbers yet, and no one knows just how much initial supply was sent to the U.K. retailers, these statements all need to be taken with a grain of salt. Analysts have not agreed on just how many devices were seeded to retailers.

The Z10 won't reach the U.S. until the middle of March. It will be sold by AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, but not Sprint. Verizon is the only carrier that's put a price tag on the Z10, and is charging $199 for it with a new contract. The other carriers will likely charge the same price.

The Q10, announced at the same time as the Z10, isn't launching until April. It will hit markets outside the U.S. first, and may not reach the shelves of AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless until late May or early June.

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User Rank: Apprentice
2/8/2013 | 2:25:33 PM
re: BlackBerry Touts 'Record' Z10 Sales
This is all well and good, and hopefully a real chance for Blackberry to stay in the game and perhaps gain market share for a change. One would hope they learned from the release of the Playbook, and will not make the same mistakes.

The challenge I see for Blackberry is not necessarily holding on to the enterprise clients it already has, but in winning back customers who have already given up on Blackberry and moved on. This is going to be their toughest sell. It remains to be seen exactly how many people will be won over after having already invested in an iPhone or Android phone they now like better than their old Blackberry.
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