Supply chain checks tell BlueFin that BlackBerry Z10 is on fire

By Chris Umiastowski on 13 Mar 2013 04:51 pm EDT

Earlier this morning Barons Blog posted a story referencing some research by independent equity research firm, BlueFin Research Partners.  The news is positive for BlackBerry.

As reported by Barons, BlueFin says it “appears that management is confident that the BlackBerry 10 launches will be an unqualified success” based on supply chain checks.  Apparently there has been a “significant surge in orders in the past 30 days” according to their analyst, Paul Peterson.

BlueFin also wrote, “Our checks indicate that some suppliers are seeing 6-month order coverage that is several orders of magnitude larger than the previous 6 months, with some suppliers believing that they can get back to 2011 revenue levels if the present forecast levels hold up.”

I don’t know the folks at BlueFin personally, but I do know they have a pretty decent reputation for doing these kinds of supply chain checks.  Essentially, the analyst has to form close relationships with suppliers to find out what’s happening.  It’s a huge grey zone, but analysts can often learn about big changes in order patterns by talking to a collection of people who all know something that they (and you and I) don’t know. 

Stack together a bunch of independent and small pieces of supply chain information and you just might, through mosaic theory, discover that something big is happening.  Without having read the BlueFin report, that’s what is sounds like they are saying.

Personally, I’m not surprised.  Over the last few weeks I’ve talked to a number of people who all believe that BlackBerry saw stronger sales than they expected, and had to increase build numbers for the BlackBerry Z10

That said, BlueFin is also providing some quantitative context.  If some suppliers  believe that BlackBerry can get back to 2011 levels we’re talking a serious improvement in market share for the new  platform.

Is the information accurate?  Probably more accurate than listening to BlackBerry executives who are always more likely to speak in an upbeat manner. 

Whatever you think of the data, it’s certainly nice to see some independent analysis that supports, with some data, what BlackBerry management has been saying about the Z10 launch.  

Reader comments

Supply chain checks tell BlueFin that BlackBerry Z10 is on fire


Seriously what's up with all these good BlackBerry news in one day, some company just placed an order for 1 million BB Z10 devices, and stock is going up like crazy. What the hell is going on?

+1000000 hopefully this will encourage the bbworld to be significantly improved.

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this is one of my post this morning
BGR just reported this really encouragine news.
Per Barron’s, Peterson has written a research note claiming that it “appears that [BlackBerry] management is confident that the BB10 launches will be an unqualified success” because orders to suppliers for the Z10 handset have shown a “significant surge in orders in the past 30 days.”
Yay go Zed10
I am dreaming of a beach house next year!

BlackBerry Z10 supply orders indicate “unqualified success” | BGR

The Z10 is a beast. High End from top to bottom. Needs the Apps to keep rolling in, though (especially the dominant apps). The exposure out there helps, although some users will never give it a chance. You really do need to use it to actually 'get it'. Anyone give the z10 a fair go and still don't like it?

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It's definitely a cold day in hell if BGR throws a positive spin on a blackberry news line.
Now let's get the Q10 out to people and follow with some stellar app support.

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Just to remind everyone, BlackBerry sales in 2011 were roughly twice what they were last quarter...

i guess this news is wh ythe stock jumped this afternoon, suck it short sellers you just lost a bit of money :P

what were the stock prices like in 2011, where that at around $80

"Several orders of magnitudes higher" means at least 1,000 times higher as each order of magnitude means at least 10 times higher. So I suspect that the person making the statement didn't really mean to be using the words precisely or they were just exaggerating for effect. But still this means some serious sales are going on or at least expected with sufficient confidence that BBRY is making purchases in anticipation of those sales. That is some confidence.

Wow! How dare they print such a positive report! Got so used to all the negative reports out there I forgot how to handle it! Gah! Can't start a ranting post! Where are the Trolls when you need them!

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Blackberry is doomed. They'll never amount to anything. It's just a matter of time before they close their doors forever. Just like Hostess. That's right. The Z10 will fade to obscurity just like the Twinkie and you're a Ding Dong if you put any faith into this collapsing cake factory.

I'm hungry.

If you are asking what is going on, this is simply blackberry telling everyone : well we've got some great bb10 phones to sell your but the company is definitely not for sale. They are really pushing the comback at another level this month, this is not even close to whatever a tech company has ever done to attempt a comback to the top (were actually they belongs imo)

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Great news all around and possibly planned to get maximum buzz before the launch of the Samsung S4.

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Probably more accurate information than the bear analysts who somehow predicted that only 300,000 Z10s were sold by March 02. Are you kidding me? I hope they loose their jobs for keeping the share price so low. Oh well, here is looking at you bears.

Nothing better than seeking the skeptics be wrong about BlackBerry 10. Makes my day to see it all coming together!

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For all those who wanted RIM (now BlackBerry) to die ( for reasons unknown), for all those bloggers and tech writers who found it to be the in thing to keep badmouthing BB10, for all those who have been led to believe that Iphone is the only phone,all I can say is things are looking good at Blackberry again. The best thing BlackBerry did was buy QNX and rebuild the OS because I believe it's the most efficient OS on the market. Good job BlackBerry.

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We thank God for hearing the cry that BlackBerry will not die. This is time for more innovation and not resting on her oars. It's a marathon and they are just starting.

Chris isn't this similar to the guys reporting on the negative claiming to have info from retail by going into outlets and asking reps what's I'd happening? Heresay?

How can judge the accuracy? We can't, can we?

So many questions so few answers. :)

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No it is not. The CEO of a company is held to a much higher legal and ethical standard than some random analyst.

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@bvinceb - in some ways it is similar because in both cases the analyst is looking to gather info about sales.  The big difference is that supply chain checks measure forward sales versus retail checks that measure past sales.  The other differences are that retail checks are notoriously easy to do and report on with quality ranging from total crap to best in class.  So unless you know the guy's methodology you just don't know if his checks in retail are useful.  

Checking in with the supply chain can be extremely valuable, although the legality of using this information is highly questionable in many cases.  Example:  Semiconductor rep who is in charge of the BBRY account tells you that they just tripled orders for RF power amplifiers, and you happen to know that this particular PA chip goes in the Z10.  Easy to draw a conclusion that demand is robust.  If you get actual numbers, even easier to quantify shipments.  But the analyst will never publish that much info because he knows it's extremely thin ice.  

I know from experience that channel checks on a company like BlackBerry involve three things:  1) Current shipment rates; 2) Forecast shipment rates; 3) Direction of change in forecasts.  


Good news for BB.. hopefully devs including the big names will bring in their apps sooner than later ... time to get off that couch & start crackin'..

This. Phone. is ON FIREEEEE! (surprised there were no alicia keys references yet, I'll see my way out)

And that's really the key here. Of course we'd expect to hear promising reports from BB executives. That we keep getting such reports from 3rd parties is encouraging.

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Thorstein will do for blackberry what Steve Jobs did for Apple even tho they suck lol. while Steve Jobs was alive he made huge progress and success for the company. Thorstein will do the same

I hope Thor does do that for BlackBerry. As an added plus Thor, to use that charming phrase so loved by Americans, is not and will not be a douche bag whilst he does it.

Say it with me. Jony Ive. Jony Ive. Jony Ive. Now, you know the real reason for Apple's turnaround.

Let's put this nonsense that Steve Jobs was responsible for Apple's turnaround to rest... you can't give Steve Jobs credit without mentioning Jony Ive in the same breath, and probably should say "Jony Ive with Steve Jobs having final approval" or something. Without Jony, would the iMac and iPod have had the impact they did? I don't think so.

SUCK IT, BGR! And by "it" I mean something that just about no one likes to suck under any circumstances... not something fun.

Wooh everyone. Remember, that Canaccord guy does channel checks as well. We'll, OK he does one check. His part time gardener has a bud whose second cousin knows a guy whose wife works for a company that supplies bottled water to the mobile store in the shetland islands and she said over a pint of beer that she saw several Z10 boxes which must mean that world wide sales must be limited. The logic is impeccable.

There definitely *are* some analysts (and at least one I know of from past experience) who totally fabricate the quality of their checks. Plus they'll refer to checks (plural) when they mean check (singular).


BlackBerry is sold out once again in Qatar LOL.... and I'm the only guy in our company with one, they all want it. I feel like a god.

I love you blackberry

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