Word is, BlackBerry is cool again. The once-mighty brand has had a rather long string of poor showings in the recent past, but the company believes it has turned a corner with BlackBerry 10. And from what we've seen so far, it seems they're right.
A quote released by BlackBerry’s President & CEO Thorsten Heins sums up the mood in Waterloo: “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 percent 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.”
That’s great news for the company, of course, but some actual numbers would have made greater impact. At this moment, however, the company is not too keen on revealing just how many handsets have been sold since the launch.
The Z10 is in high demand
Earlier this week, reports suggested that the first BlackBerry 10 phone, the Z10, was flying off the shelves in the UK. According to research firm Jefferies & Co, people are queuing up outside stores for the the new smartphone, and it seems as if the white edition of the device has been sold out. The black version of the Z10 also seems to be selling quite well and stocks are reportedly limited.
However, there have been some questions raised about the veracity of this claim. As the Telegraph reports, at retailer Phones 4U, the exclusive UK supplier of the white Z10, the stock was not sold-out. In fact, one London store told the paper, that there were “plenty left.” Is BlackBerry fibbing or just trying to make the most of their moment in the sun?
Indeed, the hype that the company has created around the device has worked in the BlackBerry Z10’s favour in some parts of the world. On eBay, the handset is selling for upwards of $1,500, and BB fans in India have matched their American counterparts. The phone is not officially available here yet, but frenzied demand has dictated a high price for the pieces on the gray market. We have learnt from our gray market sources that the phone has been selling for nearly double its expected official price. Two retailers told us that they have sold handsets for as high as Rs 80,000 and some for Rs 75,000 (we're assuming location and availability cause the price differences). We were also informed that the price would only go up. This sort of frenzy is normally reserved only for the iPhone.
However, our recent findings indicate that the Z10 is still available in the gray market and the price has dropped to Rs 70,000. It's possible that the reduction in price is due to the impending launch date growing closer. We're expecting the handset to hit Indian shores some time in the last week of February or early in March. Either way, it should be here before it makes it to the US.
Even if the talk about great sales is to be believed, can BlackBerry keep its production rate up to match the high demand in the market? It has been a long time since BlackBerry regularly shipped millions of handsets. That being said, considering Blackberry's past, these are good problems to have. But they did say they have thought of everything when it comes to BlackBerry 10, so, for their sakes and ours, let's hope there's enough to make it to India without a delay.
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