The wait for a fresh new BlackBerry (BBRY) smartphone to launch in the United States has been absolutely grueling for diehard fans, but it’s finally over. Beginning Friday, BlackBerry’s first next-generation BlackBerry 10 smartphone is available from AT&T (T) online and in stores for $199.99 with a new two-year agreement. BGR reviewed the BlackBerry Z10 in January and called it a huge improvement over the stale BlackBerry 7 OS in many ways, but BlackBerry still has a long way to go to catch up with market leaders. Following Friday’s launch at AT&T, the BlackBerry Z10 will be available from T-Mobile beginning March 27th and from Verizon (VZ) starting March 28th.
BlackBerry (BBRY) is in need of a hit in the United States, but it seems that early preorder volumes for the BlackBerry Z10 on American wireless carriers have been below expectations so far. Barron’s points us to a new note from Detwiler Fenton & Co. analyst Jeff Johnston, who says that preorders for the Z10 “have been light and well below expectations” on carriers he’s checked in with so far. Johnston says that Z10 faces a consumer awareness problem in the U.S., which has only been exacerbated by other recent high-profile launches such as the recent Galaxy S 4 and the HTC (2498) One. More →
Wall Street believes that BlackBerry (BBRY) will ship between 300,000 and 800,000 new BlackBerry Z10 smartphones during the February quarter. This is the most widely discussed number for BlackBerry’s fiscal fourth quarter, but it’s far from the most important metric. Since the Z10 was not shipping to the U.S. market and was available only in select countries for a fraction of the quarter, the Z10 shipment figure is going to be open to interpretation. Instead, the firm’s total subscriber base is the number that is going to be highly relevant. This is because in the August quarter, BlackBerry added 2 million net subscribers and in the November quarter, the company lost 1 million subscribers. Late autumn appeared to mark a dramatic turning point. The subscriber growth in emerging markets slowed down so much that it no longer was able to offset the base erosion in the U.S. and the U.K. More →
BlackBerry’s (BBRY) new flagship Z10 smartphone has seemingly been well-received in a number of markets, and the latest round of launches has been no different. Following a note from Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek suggesting the BlackBerry Z10 sold out across numerous retailers in India, RBC Capital Markets’ Mark Sue and RBC Dominion Securities’ Paul Treiber report that the Z10 has indeed been well received in India and other new markets following its launch late last month. The duo’s checks have found stock-outs across India and other markets. They raised their February-quarter estimates to 500,000 units from 350,000 as a result, but they still see BlackBerry selling 2 million smartphones in the May quarter as sales appear to be slowing in Canada and the United Kingdom. More →
Verizon (VZ) on Wednesday announced the availability of BlackBerry’s (BBRY) Z10 smartphone. Customers will be able to pre-order the handset in black or white beginning on Thursday, March 13th. The BlackBerry Z10 is equipped with a 4.2-inch 720p display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. The smartphone also features 16GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, 2GB of RAM, NFC, LTE connectivity and a 1800 mAh battery. The BlackBerry Z10 will be available online and in stores from Verizon on March 28th for $199 with a new two-year agreement.
As we’ve said before, BlackBerry’s (BBRY) goal with the Z10 isn’t to catch up with iOS and Android overnight but to simply live to fight another day. And based on some recent supply checks conducted by analyst Paul Peterson of boutique research firm BlueFin, it seems that BlackBerry has gone a long way toward achieving that goal. Per Barron’s, Peterson has written a research note claiming that it “appears that [BlackBerry] management is confident that the BB10 launches will be an unqualified success” because orders to suppliers for the Z10 handset have shown a “significant surge in orders in the past 30 days.” More →
BlackBerry (BBRY) fans were upset to hear that Sprint (S) decided to pass on the company’s flagship smartphone. The carrier confirmed that it would not offer the BlackBerry Z10 and instead would only carry the QWERTY keyboard equipped BlackBerry Q10 later this year. According to a report from AllThingsD, however, Sprint will launch a different all-touch BlackBerry smartphone sometime in the second half of 2013. The device is described as a “follow-on handset” to the Z10 and not just a slightly modified version of the smartphone that is being offered by AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile.
BlackBerry’s (BBRY) next-generation BlackBerry Z10 smartphone will finally become available on AT&T (T) beginning March 22nd. The nation’s No.2 carrier announced on Monday that it will begin taking preorders for the BlackBerry Z10 on March 12th ahead of the phone’s release next Friday. The Z10 will cost $199.99 with a two-year agreement, as expected, and customers can register on AT&T’s website to be notified as soon as preorders go live. BGR reviewed the BlackBerry Z10 last month and called it a huge step in the right direction, but we wondered if it would be enough to draw a significant number of users from more established platforms. AT&T’s full press release follows below. More →
BlackBerry’s (BBRY) app problem is about to get a little less severe. BlackBerry social media manager Alex Kinsella on Thursday posted an update to his Twitter account “predicting” that BlackBerry Z10 users will “be downloading WhatsApp” within the next week. Having WhatsApp on BlackBerry 10 is an important win for the new BlackBerry platform both because of its popularity in emerging markets and because it may help offset the impending loss of unlimited BlackBerry Messenger services in certain key markets. All that said, BlackBerry still has a long way to go when it comes to attracting top apps to its platform, especially in light of Netflix’s (NFLX) confirmation this week that it has no plans to make an app for BlackBerry 10.
A large part of why BlackBerry (BBRY) has survived over the past two years is because of the success it has achieved in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia. Chief executive Thorsten Heins confirmed that the company is readying less expensive devices for those markets and will look to continue to build its market share, however it has no plans of competing with any bargain-bin Asian rivals. More →
It’s been an annoyingly long wait for American BlackBerry (BBRY) fans, but it looks like they’ll soon be able to upgrade to the BlackBerry Z10. Unnamed sources have told Bloomberg that AT&T (T) will start selling the newest BlackBerry flagship phone on March 22nd, or one week later than earlier rumors had indicated. It’s unclear whether AT&T will be the first American carrier to offer the Z10 since T-Mobile has said that it would start offering the device sometime in mid-March and we haven’t yet heard when Verizon (VZ) will start selling it. Sprint (S) is the only major American carrier to announce that it won’t be selling the Z10 and will instead only sell the QWERTY keyboard-enabled Q10.
A fight is brewing on the Street over BlackBerry’s (BBRY) next-generation Z10 smartphone. Following early reports of BlackBerry Z10 sellouts across the UK and Canada, Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette recently claimed that sales have stalled and unsold inventory is now building up. While Faucette isn’t alone in his belief that sales aren’t going to be as impressive as many had hoped, a new report from Jefferies & Company suggests Pacific Crest is mistaken and the Z10 is selling just fine. More →
Sales of BlackBerry’s (BBRY) new flagship BlackBerry Z10 smartphone are reportedly slumping in the United Kingdom after having gotten off to what appeared to be a strong start. Following up a note from last month that cast doubt on the likelihood of BlackBerry returning to sustained profitability, Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette claimed in a recent note to investors that Z10 inventory is building up across UK sales channels. More →