Depending on who you talk to, BlackBerry 10 (NASDAQ:
) has either been a
. One report claimed that BlackBerry 10 had beaten the rumored
sales estimates and
acquired several iPhone customers
from Apple (NASDAQ:
Days prior, Canaccord Genuity
reduced its sales estimates
from 1.75 million BlackBerry 10 units to just 300,000 units.
Final results are expected to come before the bell Thursday,
when BlackBerry reports its fiscal 2013 fourth quarter results.
Good or bad, investors would be wise to proceed with caution.
Jan Dawson, chief telecom analyst at Ovum, said that while it
could be a big quarter for BlackBerry 10, there are "several
factors" that could work against device sales.
"Firstly, the device was only on sale for about a month before
the end of the quarter, and critically didn't launch in the US
until several weeks later," Dawson noted in an e-mail to the
press today. "Secondly, the Q10, which has the classic BlackBerry
hardware keyboard, won't go on sale for some time still, so many
of the prime candidates for buying a BlackBerry 10 device will be
waiting for that.
"Lastly, devices have been supply constrained in the markets
where they have launched, meaning that even if people wanted to
buy them they haven't necessarily been able to do so."
Dawson said that for all of these reasons, observers should
"wait for the next quarter's results, which will be a much better
indicator of the long-term success or failure of the
"Given that context, anything more than a million Z10 sales in
the past quarter may be considered a success for BlackBerry,"
Dawson noted. "Anything less will be disappointing. And we'll
also have to watch for overall sales, which may have been
depressed by would-be buyers waiting out the launch in their
Dawson estimated that most of the devices sold "will actually
have been BlackBerry 7 devices." Many of them are likely to have
been sold in emerging markets, including Latin America, "where
BlackBerry remains a popular brand in smartphones."
For better or worse, investors should not expect the Z10 to
become a record-breaking success in the United States.
"Even past the end of the quarter, the US launch seems to have
been very low key, with carriers not featuring the devices and
sales staff poorly briefed on its benefits," said Dawson.
), which has had big device launches with iPhones, Windows Phones
and Androids in the recent past, hasn't lavished the same
attention on the Z10. Based on executives' comments, AT&T
strongly believes that it needs a third ecosystem beyond iPhone
and Android, but it clearly doesn't think BlackBerry 10 is
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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