The BlackBerry Q10 is available on numerous Canadian carriers (Rogers, Bell, TELUS, Fido, SaskTel) and this iconic QWERTY was apparently the device loyal users were waiting for. On launch day we reached out to the carriers for feedback on sales numbers, but most replied back with the usual “response has been well received” and “customer demand is high.”
Now 3-weeks after launch, analyst Brian Modoff from Deutsche Bank is reporting the Q10 on Canadian soil is meeting expectations. Madoff contacted 30 stores in the UK and 30 retail stores (Rogers, Bell, TELUS) and report stated that the “BlackBerry has done a better job in Canada.” While no specific sales numbers, only that it’s “selling well,” “sold out” or stores having “limited stock.” The quick study suggested that Canadians are deeply committed to the brand and “it was almost a foregone conclusion that handsets would sell well in this geography.”
“The HTC (2498TW) One, Samsung [Electronics (005930KS) S IV, and [Apple (AAPL)] iPhone5 were the most recommended phones. In Canada, the Q10 was selling well in a majority of the stores we contacted. It was sold out in three and had limited stock in several others due to strong sales… Again it appears that Blackberry has done a better job in Canada. The sales representatives were much more effusive about the Q10 and as a result, sales are likely better in this region. Given the captive audience in Canada, we think that it was almost a foregone conclusion that handsets would sell well in this geography. In the UK, sales representatives were less inclined to discuss the Q10 and only few said the phone was selling well. In sum, this seems similar to the Z10 launch and we think the fact that the Q10 is still getting decent sales airtime in Canada is constructive, especially in light of the recent SIV launch. Overall, we were positively surprised with the results of the Canadian portion of our survey. We thought that Blackberry would be challenged to remain relevant on their home turf, given the recent launch of the SIV. We still think the company has serious challenges in front of them in terms of declining service revenues, managing two OS platforms and migrating a user base over to an unfamiliar base. While Canada was incrementally positive to the overall story, we believe that the US will likely be a better measure of the company’s longer term outlook.”
True sales numbers will come out when BlackBerry reveals their fiscal Q1 results on June 28th. This will include the BlackBerry Z10 – which at last count was above 1 million units sold – and the BlackBerry Q10. Additional carriers, like WIND Mobile and Videotron, will soon bring bringing the new QWERTY to their customers.