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BlackBerry CEO and analyst disagree on the strength of the BlackBerry Z10's start

Posted: , by Alan F.

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BlackBerry CEO and analyst disagree on the strength of the BlackBerry Z10's start
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins is "Yin" to Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette's "Yang," at least when it comes to sales of the BlackBerry Z10. We've already told you how BlackBerry India Managing Director Sunil Dutt said that he had to raise his estimate of Z10 sales in his country by an impressive 40% after the launch. Even more telling is Heins' comment about the launch of the first BlackBerry 10 handset in India. The executive said that five days worth of product went into the sales channel in the country and just two days after the launch, he got an emergency call from Dutt saying that the product had sold out in India. Now, Canadian based BlackBerry is trying to rebuild its inventories in the country..

The BlackBerry Z10 (L) and the BlackBerry Q10

The BlackBerry Z10 (L) and the BlackBerry Q10

As of today, the BlackBerry Z10 is available in 21 countries with a U.S.launch coming soon. We could see AT&T launch on March 22nd as current speculation insists. Verizon says it will release the device at the end of this month with T-Mobile hoping to launch in the middle of March. While looking forward to the U.S. release of the all-touch BlackBerry Z10, CEO Heins is happy to see that many buyers of the phone are coming from other platforms. According to BlackBerry India's Dutt, 45% of those who purchased a BlackBerry Z10 in India were switching from a different OS.

Sounds like a major success for BlackBerry, right? Not so fast says Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette, who says that U.K. inventory levels of the first BlackBerry 10 handset are already running above normal and inventory levels in Canada are rising toward normal. Faucette points out that U.K. retailers have cut pricing of the device and his fear is that the lower pricing will lead the market to view the phone as a mid-range model rather than the high-end device that BlackBerry has positioned the phone as. If it becomes a mid-range phone, not only would BlackBerry not be in the same zip code as the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III, it would also lead to lower profit margins for BlackBerry. Faucette sees 1 to 2 million units of the phone shipping in May, but sees the actual sell-through number a lot-lower.

So who is right, the CEO of BlackBerry, who obviously has a vested interest in the outcome, or an analyst who was bearish on the Z10 even before its launch? As far back as November, Faucette said that BlackBerry 10 would be "Dead on arrival." Could the analyst be pushing the bear side just to make his prediction seem like it is coming true?

We should get an early indication on March 28th when BlackBerry reports its quarterly earnings. But that won't include the U.S. launch and the following quarter's report won't include the physical QWERTY equipped BlackBerry Q10, which many expect to be the real star of BlackBerry 10 but which might not launch until the summer. We might not know until next December if BlackBerry 10 is a success. In the meantime, you can decide to believe Thorsten Heins, James Faucette, or perhaps you can just be in the middle.

"We are just five weeks into this. We have just one product out in 21 countries, so it is early indications, but we are encouraged by what we see and hear from our carrier partners. I was surprised when we launched in India how well the Z10, which is a high-end device, sold. We shipped into the channel product that we thought would have been good for at least five days and I got an emergency call from our manager in India, saying that they were sold out in two days. Now we are scrambling to re-load that channel."-Thorsten Heins, CEO, BlackBerry

"Our checks indicate that as sell-through run-rates for the Z10 have declined meaningfully in the weeks following launch, we believe carriers and third-party retailers in the U.K. are already well above typically targeted inventory levels. Canadian carrier stores and retailers also appear to be rapidly approaching targeted levels, in our view."-James Faucette, analyst, Pacific Crest

source: Reuters, Forbes

13 Comments
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posted on 08 Mar 2013, 17:31 1

1. rusticguy (Posts: 2820; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


40 out of 400 mail users on one server that i am watching are from RIM network which makes it about 10% of mail users using BB.

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 17:32 4

2. MC1123 (Posts: 1230; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


he's eating what he said before!! lol at these silly analyst!

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 17:34 5

3. MC1123 (Posts: 1230; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


i think 1 to 2M BB Z10 shipped is respectable especially that its just a new platform..just like the lumia 920...

its realyl time to break the duopoly!!! i love competition and choices!!!

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 12:30 1

13. jsdechavez (Posts: 699; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


+1! Dhang.. I like some optimish here.. Unlike many immature trolls and haters here..

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 17:38 2

4. BillyG (Posts: 305; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)


nothing's new, as usual, the only places BB can sell their phones : Canada, Indonesia, India and prob. UK. Thats. It.

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 18:20 4

7. MC1123 (Posts: 1230; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


um nooo!! africa is also BlackBerry market... and in every country BB still has a respectable share

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 17:48 3

5. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6142; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


What bout the q10 launch

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 18:19 2

6. MC1123 (Posts: 1230; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


still in june dude... but i dont know why people will thumb you down..

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 18:25 1

8. Trade_Mark (banned) (Posts: 9; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


So these 2phones can run Android apps, or platform. Wow!

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 18:42

9. sonisoe (Posts: 320; Member since: 06 May 2009)


if this unit can sell 5 million to customers, bb are in it to slug it out w wp for starters

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 01:15

10. platformwars (Posts: 65; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)


Well.. The Indian BB CEO was very happy with the sales for the first week.. but jumped ship as soon as he could and has quit to join another firm... Says alot about the confidence BB Top Brass has in the product..

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 03:38

11. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1619; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


Im ashsmed to say im going to take the analysts side...fine that in india there are high sales but in europe i have not heard of 1 person having the device and when i went to check one out in store the were Z10 sale signs everywhere and it was priced around the same as a s3... i know which one i would choose! The fact bb have pinned there hopes on this one touchscreen device which wasnt even how they made there money in the first place is sad..long live WP8

posted on 09 Mar 2013, 08:02

12. BigRed83 (Posts: 142; Member since: 19 May 2008)


I wonder if Mr. Faucette bought the Storm 1 & is still bitter. What a joke

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