The fully-touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 smartphone is yet to complete one month in the market, but the investment firm, Canaccord Genuity, has slashed its sales estimates for the BlackBerry smartphones.
The Waterloo-based company will sell only 300,000 BlackBerry10 units in the first quarter this year, whereas it was earlier forecasted for nearly 2 million sales of BB10 units, T.Michael Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord, said to investors Tuesday.
The BlackBerry Z10 made its first debut in the Canadian and UK markets, while the keyboard version BlackBerry Q10 will not be launched globally until April. The U.S. stores will get the touchscreen Z10 handset mid-March and the keyboard version Q10 is expected to hit a few weeks after the global launch. But the unexpected delay in the U.S. launch is a big disadvantage to BlackBerry.
The delay in the U.S. launch led some analysts to cut their sales estimates. Major U.S. network carriers like AT&T and Verizon have plans to offer both BB10 smartphones, but they have not yet announced sales dates. While Sprint said it would sell only the keyboard version of BlackBerry Q10 smartphone, T-Mobile will carry only the touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 handset.
"With new BB10 smartphones launching in the U.S. only in mid-March or later at subsidized prices no better than competing high-end Apple/Samsung smartphones... we are lowering our BB10 sales estimates for the February quarter and all of [fiscal] 2014," Walkley wrote in a note to clients.
"Further, we believe carrier support for BlackBerry 10 in the U.S. is modest, as demonstrated by Sprint only planning to launch the Q10 [BlackBerry with a physical keyboard] and T-Mobile only the Z10," he added.
He said the launch in the UK and Canada were best in the company's history, but BlackBerry Z10 sales had mixed response with limited supply rather than overwhelming demand before its launch.
The company aims to regain its market shares, which is currently dominated by Apple's iPhone and the Android-running smartphones, specially Samsung Galaxy line up of devices.
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