February 7, 2013
Smartphone Enjoying Early Success in Canada, U.K.
BlackBerry naysayers and doomsday predictors may be eating some crow this week.
The Canadian company’s Z10 Smartphone, which was launched Feb. 5 along with the Q10, has garnered blockbuster sales in both Canada and the U.K. in the past two days.
“In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry Smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50 percent better than any other launch day in our history in Canada,” BlackBerry president and CEO Thorsten Heins said in a Feb. 6 statement.
“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.”
Canadian wireless carrier Rogers has also experienced a Z10 frenzy with some of its retail stores running out of stock.
Rogers announced it sold more BlackBerry Smartphones Feb. 5 than any other day in Rogers history. Rogers, the first carrier to debut BlackBerry handsets 14 years ago, also said it has activated thousands of Z10 devices, which feature a touchscreen.
Bell Canada and Telus are also reporting strong sales. Bell said the Z10 brought in the highest pre-orders than any other BlackBerry device in history.
So far, reviews on Rogers’ website from customers who have actually purchased and used the phone are almost glowing with many giving it a five out of five rating.
“Picked up phone yesterday and the more I check out the power and features the more I am impressed with the ability of the Z10. The Z10 is going to be a difficult act to follow from the other manufactures without a major re-build of their operation systems,” writes one user.
Another user says: “Just got the phone very user friendly, i had android and iphone and sorry this is a much better phone. Easy to use texting is amazing. very easy to go though different applications.”
Yet another user addressed those who gave the Z10 lower ratings for having fewer apps than rival Smartphones: “I love my new BB10. The powerful features, the virtual keyboard and the fast OS making it my favorite phone. I am sure more apps will surface soon. Do you think Apple started with 700,000 apps? I give this phone 9.8 out of 10. I am so glad I got this phone.”
But it is not all good news for BlackBerry this week.
While the company is hoping to have good reviews and strong sales ahead of the U.S. debut for the Z10, Heins has said Smartphone testing by wireless carriers is causing a launch delay for both the Z10 and the Q10, a more traditional looking BlackBerry complete with a Qwerty keyboard.
While the Z10 is slated for release in the U.S. next month, the Q10’s launch date — originally set for April — has been pushed back and could even be as late as June.
Heins told the Associated Press he is disappointed the Z10 won’t be released in the United States until mid-March, but added the U.S. and its phone carriers have a strict testing system.
“We need to respect that. Am I a bit disappointed? Yeah, I would be lying saying no. But it is what it is, and we’re working with all our carrier partners to speed it up as much as we can,” Heins said.