New Delhi: Are they selling well? Are they going to sell well? Will the momentum sustain? Is momentum *snigger* even there?
Questions like these begin to haunt smartphone fans even before the first batch of devices in question even hit the stores. Apple fan boys sweat over iPhone sales in heated discussions and 'Fandroids' fight pitched battles to defend 'their own'. Nokia worshippers have lately found strength in Lumia's launch. Huwaei and ZTE fans are quietly building cases for themselves too.
With the launch of BlackBerry's (now BlackBerry) latest stab at the smartphone game- the BB 10-based Z10 and Q10, die hard fans of the Canadian tech player are back in the fray- or so they believe, at least.
Now as it happens in the case of any major smartphone, the latest line of BB phones met some favourable and not-so-flattering reviews. Also, the first set of sale predictions are out, and have resulted in expectedly emotional reactions from both sides of the Great BlackBerry Divide.
BB10- a flop? Canaccord suggests so
Canaccord has made a huge downward revision in the expected sale of the Z10 devices- while it had initially prediction 1.75 million handsets, it is now saying the sale will reach a measly 300,000 in the current quarter.
The initial stock-outs happened more because of limited supply rather than huge demand, the report said.
Further, the report said carrier support for the latest BB phones is modest, and even at subsidised prices, BB devices will be as expensive as high-end Apple and Samsung phones.
Also, Samsung will out the next iteration of its Galaxy S series—the Galaxy S IV—in the first half of this calendar year, making matters even trickier for BlackBerry 10.
Jefferies more positive on BB10
And yet, another report pitched a different set of sale numbers for Z10. Jefferies & Co.’s Peter Misek said Z10 sales should cross the 500,000-mark this quarter.
Misek says 'recent launches in France, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait have gone well.' In fact, he goes on to make a downward revision of Apple sales predictions for the current quarter.
Bottomline? Wait for the numbers...and a wider launch!
BB10 smartphones were launched on January 30- that was just about 3 weeks ago. Also the launch was limited to just a few markets, and the phones are yet to reach (or have just reached) several major countries. Q10 and Z10 will arrive in India on February 25. So until all that happens, it seems a tad too early to label the products 'dead on arrival'.
Also, the spot the former smartphone czar is now eyeing is not the top, not even the second place but a credible third- behind Samsung and Apple. And while several reviewers are unable to see anything pathbreaking in Z10, others have highlighted its strengths and reviewed the devices positively- indicating that even in the face of competition from Nokia, ZTE, Huwaei and others, that third position is not nearly as impossible as it seemed till a few quarters ago.
Finally, if BlackBerry can play up the fact that it was worked upon its core strength- its corporate friendly features - in order to retain and expand its enterprise user base, then its surely not all doom and gloom for the company yet.