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.
“We physically checked six stores in London and Edinburgh on our recent marketing trip for signs of excess inventory or wavering Z10 demand,” Jefferies analyst Peter Misek wrote in a note to clients. “We found neither. All of the stores we visited had only a few devices in stock and sellthrough appeared fine.”
He continued, “We asked if any of the sales associates and managers had heard of too much inventory and the answer was consistently no. Additionally, they did know of two stores in their network that were sold out. So contrary to some reports the Z10 continues to sell steadily.”
As for the recent reports of Z10 price cuts across several retailers in the UK, Misek calls this “standard practice for new flagship phones.”
“We asked about price cuts and if this indicated waning demand or issues. Again this was deemed standard practice and brought the Z10 inline with the iPhone 5,” the analyst wrote. “We asked how quickly the iPhone 5 price fell and we were told one month or so.”
Misek maintains a Buy rating on BlackBerry shares with a $19.50 price target.