News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday February 06, 2013.
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BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins excitedly claimed that the BlackBerry Z10 launch was "beyond expectations" and that the white version of the phone was virtually sold out. The only problem with those claims is that they are appear to be inaccurate.
Heins said that the white Z10 model was sold out at key locations and it was difficult to keep the standard black model in stock, but Mobile News contacted Phones 4U, the exclusive seller of the white Z10 in the U.K., and was told by two stores and the company's main customer service line that the phone is still available. One store said it had "loads left" of the device, and orders will be fulfilled in five days.
The levels of optimism were also called into question in Canada, where the low number of customers at key locations doesn't seem to match with the enthusiastic reports from RIM and carriers. The New York Times reports that only seven customers were spotted at the busy Bell store in downtown Toronto, and only five purchased a Z10. One customer bought a Samsung Galaxy S III and the other "left empty-handed after 10 minutes."
There were numerous anecdotal reports of low customer turnout that one would not expect for such a highly anticipated product. The seemingly subdued launch also doesn't fit with the picture painted by Heins in interviews yesterday, but at least Canadian carriers are somewhat backing up claims of seeing strong customer interest. Pre-orders of the device were said to be in the thousands at Rogers, and Bell and TELUS both said customers were anxious to buy the Z10. Multiple financial analysts have checked with stores to find that sales have been strong, but that's not very impressive because supplies have been low at most stores.
The BlackBerry Z10 is not the sales juggernaut as some might have thought based on Heins earlier comments, but there appears to be an audience of customers who have embraced the phone. Regardless of how many have been sold, hearing that sales have been "beyond expectations" doesn't tell us much until we know if BlackBerry has low expectations. BlackBerry is likely to share more numbers after the phone has been available for a week or during its next quarterly earnings report.
UPDATE: BlackBerry has released a statement claiming that BlackBerry Z10 sales were the best ever for any single launch event. The company issued the following statement attributed to CEO Thorsten Heins:
"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% better than any other launch day in our history in Canada. In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone."source: Mobile News, via: Telegraph
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.