updated 12:37 pm EST, Wed February 20, 2013
Limited supply blamed for sell-outs
Some industry analysts have begun to revise their optimistic sales forecasts for BlackBerry's Z10 handset, which has been on the market for several weeks in the UK and Canada. Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley has slashed his estimate for the quarter from 1.75 million units down to just 300,000, citing weak demand following the high-profile launch and imminent threats from Android devices slated for arrival next month.
"Our global surveys post the recent BlackBerry Z10 launch indicated mixed initial sales with limited initial supply cited as the reason for early post-launch stock-outs at some carrier stores rather than overwhelming demand," Walkley wrote in a note to investors, which was quoted by BGR. "Our follow-up checks have indicated steady but modest sales levels."
Many analysts do not have high expectations for the BlackBerry platform in the long term, despite reports of sold-out stock at many stores following the launch. Walkley points to "modest" carrier support in the US, where Sprint will only carry the QWERTY-equipped Q10 and T-Mobile will limit its new BlackBerry offering to the Z10.
"Further, we anticipate carriers will not build large inventory levels for BB10, consistent with prior BB7 high-end launches, and will initially stock modest levels given the weaker consumer demand for high-end BlackBerry smartphones," he added.
Accurate sales numbers may be difficult to determine until the company reports its first- and second-quarter financial results, shedding light on recurring income from the Z10. Some companies boast of strong sales associated with a launch, however shipment numbers to stores do not necessarily reflect sales to end users if the devices remain in inventory.