Yesterday's Canada BlackBerry Z10 launch was the biggest ever for BlackBerry

By Kevin Michaluk on 6 Feb 2013 02:09 pm EST

Despite some stupid articles popping up online talking about Canada's debut of the BlackBerry Z10 being lackluster, it definitely FELT like a massively successful launch from our perspective - the site has been bustling. We know carriers pushed pre-ordering of the Z10 hard, so a lot of the sales that happened were quick pickups (nobody should hever have to wait in line in Canada in February).

BlackBerry just confirmed the success of the Canada launch, as well as the initial sales of the Z10 in the UK, releasing a statement from BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins.

This just in from BlackBerry: 

"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," said Thorsten Heins, President & CEO of BlackBerry. "In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone."

Great news. It definitely feels like momentum is in the right direction for the launch of the BlackBerry Z10 right now. Must have been those paper cranes. :)

Reader comments

Yesterday's Canada BlackBerry Z10 launch was the biggest ever for BlackBerry


got my white z10 yesterday and in love sharing it all around work and people are impressed :D i love the look of shock on their faces even had isheep drooling wishing they waited

thatplaybookguy - awesome Zormtrooper wallpaper with the "this is not the DROID you were looking for" tagline You should make that wallpaper available to download. Also make it into a T-shirt, that would be awesome.

Congrats Canucks!

But did the guy from Rogers really say, "Canadians are the most tech savvy people in the world"?


lol yeah I was kinda like (what?) when he said that too (and i'm Canadian) I'm pretty sure we're on social media more than anyone else in the world though, like per capita.

Just saw this news on CNBC. They are also running a poll asking which beaten down tech stock will do the best in the next year. but I can't find the link to vote.

There was also a report that 50% of the preorder were android and iphone users. So that bodes very well in my opinion that there is more than just diehard BB users up for grabs.

Bell employee told me that 50% of the walk-in crowd to buy the Z10 were also non BlackBerry users. iPhone mostly. Good feedback I suppose.

At the Telus Store I was in yesterday, there were 12 other people who cam in and switched to the Z10 along with me, however I was the only current BlackBerry user. I retired my 9900 and watched my son and 6 others retire various iPhones and 5 Android users. I know the assistant manager and we were blown away. There was a great demo guy from BlackBerry walking around demonstrating it for everyone. It was a great moment

Perhaps those users were previously BB users who switched to Android and iPhone, and are now switching back...

Wouldn't it be amazing if the return of Blackberry actually caused the growth of iphone users to be negative one of these quarters?

That's what I expected...don't forget....EVERYONE with a smartphone 6 years ago had the one and only FIRST smartphone....BlackBerry.
I think a lot of people left reluctantly, and have been waiting to reunite with their first love

In the store I got mine from there were people that were switching from both iOS and droids. Some were previous BB users, some were not. But they all got cheers and applause from those of us in the store upgrading from older BB phones.

Except in the US, where it really matters!

More time elapsing = more time for expiring users to switch to Droid/iOS.

???? :(
The US is important, but not all-important. There are bigger markets out there, globally the US is becoming less & less important. Don't get me wrong, the US is still very important. American setiment is given a very global audience, & Americans are willing to pay higher premiums & buy more apps then anyone else.

I just didn't like your somewhat conceded remark about the US being "where it realy matters"

This is great news, but would like to see # v.s. %. Anyone have that info? Stopped at a Verizon store (in U.S.) and the manager said he received his first brief on the Z10 yesterday. He sounded positive about the information he recieved and actually admitted the OS looked "very slick.

Kevin, your finger was accidentally covering the number on your Visa card. Would you please re-shoot the video and not cover it?

I believe you said you bought yours outright. That's interesting since I got turned away at 3 stores as soon as I said I would buy one outright. They had stock, but wouldn't sell even one handset without signing a 3 year contract. My own carrier was sold out and wouldn't even put my name on a waiting list if I was going to pay full price for the phone. They said "maybe in a few more weeks".

I had no trouble with buying phones outright yesterday. But I also pre-ordered at Walmart instead of a carrier store because they didn't even ask if I was upgrading and I knew they wouldn't care. Plus, they open two hours earlier then carrier stores in my area.

now swearing in the forums....I got a 5 point infraction for typing pen1s...dang it...I did it again! Sorry

I have several iPhone clients that either have pre-ordered it, picked it up or are in the process of questioning me heavily on it with the thought of going to it in the next couple months. I just wish they would hurry up and fill my pre-order so I can play with the damn thing LOL

I hope this translates into a good first quarter reporting for BlackBerry. The late launch in the US won't help, but this should.

I'd like to see the "non-Blackberry users" defined further. Are they actually converting iPHONE/ANDROID fans or are they getting back old BlackBerry users who temporarily defected.

The second group is likely an easier sell than the former.

I have no idea but I would actually argue that point. I would say with the past issues customers had a lot are harder to persuade to return. I know a fair few who I have tried to work on but previous issues with older models makes it harder to convince them to come back.

Agree. But not all users are the same. Just looking at my friends, I've got a mix.

- I have some who had issues and will never, ever buy another BlackBerry.

- I have some who left because they wanted to try something different. They're eyeing Z10 now because they want to try something different again.

- I have some who left because they couldn't do certain things on BlackBerry that could be done on other platforms, but also miss certain things (like BBM). They're eying Z10 too.

- I have some iPhone fanatic nuts who've bought every single iPhone ever. No chance are they getting this

- I have some who've had issues with iPhone (ie. broken home button). They're eying Z10.

- I have a colleague who loves tech and thinks it's cool, but depends on apps only on iPhone. Not interested in Z10 ... right now.

Different strokes for different folks.

I can only speak for myself, of course. My only smartphone was / is Android, Samsung's first 'Galaxy S' variant ('Captivate' or something, the i896 in Canada.) Quite outdated by now, stuck at 2.3.3, I just haven't kept up with the times/phones capable of more. Sure, it can run some apps; as a phone, it's 'meh.' Samsung's 'TouchWiz' launcher fails me miserably, often losing the phone app itself from its default location.

Am I an android 'fan'? Not really, maybe I just haven't given it a fair shake. I don't want to root phones and sideload apps and fiddle with numerous 'launchers' though.

I have a Z10 on order, not in a hurry, just time for a new phone. There may be better phones, I just don't have the patience.
Have never had an iPhone, but do have a 14-month old iPad2 -- now with busted sound--so an $800 trackpad, e-reader and silent web browser, until/unless I replace it or effect a repair. Even my fairly significant investment in apps isn't enough to entice me to iPhone, fearing it will last about as long as the iPad (thus negating my investment in the apps, once again.)

I don't like to keep replacing devices year after year after bl**dy year. I don't know about the build quality of the Z10, but I'm willing to take a chance. Right or wrong, I'll see you in 3 years when it's time to upgrade again.

This is great news, thanks.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you and every other member of the CrackBerry team for the outstanding work that you have done and continue to do. Awesome job, no question!

non bb users could be current or previous but i think Most current iphone and android users were once bb users ... just some held on a little longer than others maybe many are missing their precious BBM lol.. i dunno but i love my z10 running on bell with LTE :D

Good job Kevin. It’s important that you and the crackberry team take the time to explain to the world, specially the US people, the lies and negative campaign that some media and “tech blogs” such as BGR (that even claimed the Z10 screen was greasy!!!! How ridiculous was that review by a seriously disturbed hater that claimed BB was dead a long time ago) have been doing, trying their very best to damage the launch of the BB Z10 and the future of the company. Now everyone can understand why a tech company like Apple spends more money in lobbying then they do on R&D.

BGR also claimed that all but 1,000 of the 70,000 apps @ launch were crappy Android ports.

Sad thing is, that false stat was then quoted by a lot of news organizations :(

What's with the carrier blandness? Good to hear Canada Wide it went well. I went down to SaskTel yesterday to pick up my son's reserved Z10 and thought I'd pick one up for me while there but they had sold out all they had brought in. That's good, even if it only meant 30 phones. However, I was disgusted at how little fanfare there was for BB. There was not one poster or one sign anywhere to be seen, in fact they didn't even have a Z10 there as a demo or model or anything. Posters all over on Iphone 5 and even Iphone 4 but no Z10. Come on carriers, what gives?

do u know how many people are charged with data overages on iphone?.. i sometimes work for wireless wave, bell,virgin, fido, rogers, solo, and you would be amazed by the number of angry customers with iphones wondering why they have outrageous charges for data use, main reason is people dont know how much data they actually use with the iphone and most people that get it get a cheap plan, my bb plan uses compressed data it is 6gb share with a 6gb plan for my razrxt910. bottom line carriers have a lot of money to make on data with the iphone, and some individual stores are run by apple fanboys, seen it first hand here in fort mcmurray, guys working at telus telling custmers to stay away from the bb and go iphone always saying things like there are n apps for bb like iphone or its too hard to use, iphone is simple. etc.

Agreed. Same experience here, in Montreal, with Rogers and Bell. No poster, no sign in the window, not much enthusiasm from the employees. The carriers seem to be content with peddling same old Apple and Samsung stuff... This worries me.

Would've been awkward if that first customer's credit card didn't go through and he couldn't complete the purchase, eh? ;)

That BGR "boy" is weird... He needs to quit touching his greasy face and hair before reviewing a product, or eating fried chicken all the time... I'll determine what is good about my Z10 and what I don't like, BGR opinion is paid for by the app launcher turlenecks in Cuppertino so there.. Anyway, any news when AT&T is gonna decide to cash in and set a date to sell these things in the U.S.?

Yesterday Windows phone officially took the #3 spot too.  really need to make these devices available everywhere ASAP! I've been actually hearing Americans talk about  again which is fantastic but we need the Z and Q ASAP.

I am so glad the launch is going well here in Canada! I walked around the local mall here in Victoria late yesterday afternoon and all the cell shops had signs up out front announcing the Z10. I did not go in to any because I did not want to see a Z10 until I received mine today!

Canada Post dropped mine of 2 hours ago and other than not being able to activate it on Telus because of a computer reset on their end I am totally enjoying the Z10 experience. Doing everything wifi right now. I have spent countless hours watching videos of the Z10 here on CB and to actually hold one in my hand and see that amazing screen is really awesome. The videos do not do justice to just how beautiful this device is!

I picked up mine last night about 6:30 pm...small Bell store in my small town of 20,000 people. They received 45 preorders, had 60 phones shipped to them. After I got mine, there were 3 black and 1 white left in the store, and sold out of the flip not too bad!

I just thought it was worth mentioning that if you buy this phone through an authorized reseller of Rogers as an example (WirelessWave, Uptown Wireless etc.), you have to pay $50 extra because thats the premium they charge apparently since they are dealers. That is only if you buy the phone outright. Buying it on contract is still the same but if you were buying it outright, then instead of the $650 you're gonna be paying $700. Just found that out - didn't stop me from getting the Z10 though! woooo

I'm glad BlackBerry is doing so well thus far. I'm just worried about the US adoption of the Z10 with this late release. Especially with the new Samsung Galaxy SIV being announced on March 15 with an April launch. If they can get more actual top app count solidified and in BlackBerry World by then I think they could still have a great US launch.

can't wait till we can see some concrete numbers of how many devices have sold and what people have been coming from

I waited about 20 minutes to get my Z10 then it took forever to get the paperwork done. I spoke to the rep today and they are now sold out. They had a total of 25 phones... all black no white.
He also told me that they are expecting more in 2 weeks... long time

Once again, the New York Times goes out and LOOKS for one or two stores where there is no line and says, "See? What a failure!" just like the TWO people they used as the impetus behind their idi0tic "Are You Ashamed of Your BlackBerry?" story....knowing now that this is consistently the type of research they conduct, I'll never use NYT as a source for anything ever again. Might as well quote the National Enquirer or TMZ

Regina sold out, at most SaskTel stores. They're the province "playa", obviously a BlackBerry partner as well. All SaskTel employees who receive a company phone receive a BlackBerry. SaskTel used a BlackBerry device image on the cover of their last 2 phonebooks. The BB10 launch was a massive success. The US is not the "only market", but it sure seems like some people dictate unnecessary rubbish to the masses using the media and a lot of the media seem biased to US firms. I guess when an economy is approaching a "fiscal cliff", everybody involved bands together to try and retain some kind of grip.

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

" Sould out" ?? " Best day ever " ??
Z10 are being sold now mainly to fan boys. The real test will be in a few months. The Playbook was also doing very good just after launch but after a few weeks it was completely dead.
With the present collection of Apps the Z10 will probably end up the same.

You forgot to include "fan-girls" bra (cough), I mean bro. I see a lot of attractive power-women using BlackBerry, which is another great incentive to purchase a z10 for "fan-boys" and new users alike.

Sold, not sould. Use the 'edit button' man.

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

I am fortunate, because I don't care what the media lies about and pick my own items to consume using my ability to not be swayed by stupidity and ridiculousness. I should teach a course on "stick-to-it-ive-ness" (a word we made up at TELUS when I worked there back in the dizay). I have been vigorously defending the BlackBerry brand for the last several years, by choice too. It seems odd to me how many people can't be loyal to anything anymore and the amount of ios and android users who exhibit a brutal "kick them while they're down" attitude towards the inventor of the smartphone (and now super phone). What it does is show the true colors of many people. It sickens me. When I see the people who work for BlackBerry (and CrackBerry/mobile nations of course), it reminds me of my fellow teammates at another Canadian company, TELUS. I worked there when the shares dropped down to 6 dollars, people talked so much trash about the company, it was hard. People can be insidious and it shows in a lot of the BlackBerry related posts in here, as well as on Facebook, etc, etc... People need to grow up. I know I do too, lol, but at least I'm half way there.

Just sayin'

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

This is good news for BBRY but I'm starting to get frustrated by the lack of availability of phones. I have been to my Rogers store 3 times since launch (they are always out of stock). When I ask when their next shipment is coming in, all I get as a response is, "We're not sure, check again next week".

It occurs to me after watching this that Heins has done a great job of putting a public face on BlackBerry, unlike the head honchos at Apple, Microsoft, or Google. Seems like the only time we would see Jobs is during the initial product launch or possibly if he needed to chastise people about holding their phones incorrectly. In my opinion, Tim Cook has not done much to change the face of Apple as being cold & aloof. Microsoft & Google? No public face comes to mind with either of these companies. Heins comes across as being genuine & approachable. That speaks volumes about a company. I believe that will help contribute to the success of this launch.

I'm from Malaysia, I have ordered an unlock z10 from Canada and its on it's way now. Can't wait for it to launch in Malaysia. Paid abit on the high side but I'm sure it's worth it. Blackberry forever.