BlackBerry’s (nee RIM) claim that it is struggling to fulfil massive demand for the first-ever BlackBerry 10 smartphone has been called into question by informal testimonies from UK retailers, in an early sign that the warm reception afforded the handset may not be enough to save the beleaguered phone-maker.
Billed as a make-or-break device by tech watchers and business bods alike, the BlackBerry Z10 hit retail last week in the UK and is set to go on sale worldwide over the next month.
Within days of its UK street date, Thorstein Heins, BlackBerry CEO, claimed that sales of the smartphone were “beyond expectations" and that the white model had already sold out. Demand for the black edition of the handset is also strong, with the result that BlackBerry was struggling to service demand, Heins told an interviewer.
So all’s well in the BlackBerry bush and its shareholders can rest easy? Hmm. Don't be so sure. If retailers questioned by news sites are anything to go by, the prognosis for the one-time mavens of mobile messaging is much less rosy.
According to Phones 4U, which was contacted by the Telegraph, there are still “plenty” of BlackBerry Z10 kits in their inventory. Meanwhile, Mobile News got in touch with the same retailer and was told that the white model was also still easy to come by.
Heins’ cheerleading on behalf of his company’s new challenger, while not surprising, could emerge as something of an own goal for BlackBerry, making the company seem desperate to put a positive spin on Z10 coverage.
But with the Q10, which sports a keyboard to appeal to BlackBerry phones' core market of heavy messagers, due to land later this year, we think you'd be a fool to write off the company's comeback chances just yet.