Do huge Q10 sales save BlackBerry longer term?

AT&T BlackBerry Q10
By Chris Umiastowski on 13 May 2013 08:50 am EDT

Ever since the Q10 started selling across a few markets, we’ve seen strong positive reports about the launch. We’ve heard that BlackBerry is manufacturing 3 Q10s for every Z10 right now, and this metric was also reported by Bluefin in their report from last week. 

Not too long ago I wrote a quick editorial about the comment Thorsten Heins made to Bloomberg regarding his expectation to sell tens of millions of Q10s. I think it’s good for the stock price in the near term, meaning over the next couple of quarters. But a few people have emailed me privately asking if this means BlackBerry is back - as in really back and back to stay.

Good question. I prefer these types of discussions because a quarter or two on the stock market is for those who speculate, not for those who invest. I hate speculating on the short term, but in the case of the Q10, it seemed too important to ignore.

Longer term though? I think if the Q10 gets Bold and Curve users to upgrade and stick with the BlackBerry family, then the product becomes an uber-important catalyst to the sustainability of this company. Let’s face it - if the Q10 was to be a flop, and the vast majority of the 70+ million physical QWERTY BlackBerry users were to not adopt it (and not adopt the Z10), it would mean the death of this company. By definition, it would mean all of those subscribers are leaving the platform.

The company’s single most important job right now is to drive an upgrade cycle among existing users

Yes, BlackBerry needs to attract new users. But the company’s single most important job right now is to drive an upgrade cycle among existing users.  If they can successfully do this they stem any potential subscriber bleeding for another couple of years. This buys them time to continue to develop the platform by adding important third party apps, adding features, building out momentum on their future vision of mobile computing, signing deals for things like NFC payments, and the list goes on. With the executive team on hand in Orlando this week for the BlackBerry Live conference, hopefully we'll gain some insight into their progress and what's coming down the pipe next.

I hope that answers the question adequately. Yes, I think the Q10 is super important in the near term, and will be a big boost to financial results. But I also see it as a catalyst to stabilizing the company, giving them a real shot at returning to growth. Nothing is in the bag yet.  There’s lots of risk. But the Q10 seems like the steroid shot in the arm they needed to stay in the race.

Related: See all of the news from BlackBerry Live 2013

Topics: BBRY Editorial

Reader comments

Do huge Q10 sales save BlackBerry longer term?


This is an error of the comments system, I put this comment on a different post. As to what the message means, I think is quite simple. Bla1ze... is not... a developer.

Spelt, also known as dinkel wheat, or hulled wheat, is an ancient species of wheat from the fifth millennium BC.
The verb spell makes spelled in the past tense and as a past participle.

Just trying to keep our language alive. Seems for many it just doesn't matter any more. To me... it does.

Everyone who posts here is not from the US. Spelt is a correct past tense form of the word spell in many countries.

It would appear you are right.

Spelled vs. spelt

In American English, spelt primarily refers to the hardy wheat grown mostly in Europe, and the verb spell makes spelled in the past tense and as a past participle. In all other main varieties of English, spelt and spelled both work as the past tense and past participle of spell, at least where spell means to form words letter by letter or (with out) to make clear. Outside the U.S., the two forms are interchangeable in these uses, and both are common.

But when spell carries the sense to temporarily relieve (someone) from work, spelled is the preferred form throughout the English-speaking world. This is a minor point, though, as this sense of spell is rarely used outside the U.S., where it is most common.

In the US it's considered slang or just plain wrong. But if it's accepted elsewhere, than so be it.

Not only 'accepted' elsewhere -- correct. It shouldn't be considered 'plain wrong' in the U.S. either. Clearly, from context alone, it couldn't have meant wheat.

Now, 'loan' as a transitive verb should be plain wrong, imo -- 'lend' is the preferred usage (and 'lent' the past tense of that) -- but 'loan' and 'loaned' are also widely accepted, even in the countries where 'spelt' is correct.

Maybe we should loan y'all some Q10s.

Using spelt as a past tense of spell wouldn't be considered correct in American English, similar to how learnt isn't the correct past tense of learn.

The US has made many "changes" in what is considered proper grammar in contrast to British English or International English. Many countries do allow the language to evolve, though. Great Britain wanted to abandon the apostrophe a few years ago and the US now considers "judgement" to be a correct spelling of the word "judgment".

Actually, I think selling it in the UK first is a good move. Blackberry is huge in the UK. It means that the first Blackberry's go to the country which will have the largest number of BB users as a percentage of the population, and it means that when they do come out in the US, they have a much larger number of apps available so that they look good in the app war.

Selling in the US first would be a huge mistake. Every review would complain about the lack of apps and wouldn't come back to it in 2 months time when they do exist.

Thanks for stating the obvious. Now if you could only get video135 to actually understand the obvious, I would be forever grateful.

Over 35% of BlackBerry's total market share is in the US. Aka it's their biggest market, by far. Sorry that you don't speak English @THBW...

Wow really no need for that. I don't care if other countries keep BlackBerry on the map so I can still have my fix. I do believe that weather or not the US is the largest market BlackBerry has not made enough of a splash.

Posted via CB10

It's not 35%. It's about 20% and going down as we speak. By now, most of it is in the enterprise segment in the states and that's why Q10 is so important. To really survive, Blackberry needs to comeup with lower end devices ASAP for the emerging emarkets. Blackberry has reduced data charges in the emerging markets to reduce the bleeding but I think Nokia is coming back strongly at the lower end market with Lumia devices. US market is mostly dominated by Apple and Samsung and Blackberry really needs killer hardware, with amazing specs to gain significant traction, especially until the app problem is mitigated.

The most important thing they need in the US are available devices. You can't sell what you don't make available. They're handling the US very poorly so far. And as Heins has said repeatedly, "the US market is vital for BlackBerry's comeback."

Don't think a release in one market is going to make much of a difference in app release dates. Developer that are working on BB10 apps are working on them for the platform, not just one device. Granted there are going to be regional apps that have appeal in one market or to one language group that might not cross over to other regions. But a release in the UK isn't going to mean a huge in rush of apps for the US market. I think BBRY has "tried" to bridge the app gap, and many of the big name apps are there or about to be there. But the QUALITY little apps that might appeal to a particular group or industry are what the platform still does not have.

I wouldn't say it was a good move necessarily to make the US market wait vs having a truly global launch, but you make a valid point about the apps. I think the Q10 will ultimately be better received because more apps will be out by the time it finally gets released.

I'm not trying to downplay any market, but everyone is downplaying the US market and even saying that we "deserve this". Not only is it nonsense, but it's to BlackBerry's detriment.

BlackBerry will be around as long as their niche market of users crave their qwerty devices.

Simply put, there are people who prefer and demand physical keyboards and buttons on their smartphones over glass touchscreens.

BlackBerry will likely remain a niche manufacturer of these devices.

Posted via my BlackBerry Z10.

Future bb10 phone owner. Current Bold 9900 owner and previous curve 8900 owner. Curve sales lead to bold or bb10 phone sales. Because you currently can't afford a top of the line phone doesn't mean you won't always. And sooner or later that Q10 or Z10 is a zero dollar contract phone. Why get a curve (R series) for 0 if the others are 0 or close to it?

Q10 and R10 are key for 90% of upgrades. They need to hit the US market yesterday.

Z10 is needed to attract non-BlackBerry types. I am a BlackBerry type that was loyal to the brand, not necessarily the keyboard. Most non BlackBerry types I show it to are touch screen folks and most are impressed by the OS. If the apps can keep building the dual formats can save BlackBerry. BlackBerry needs new users to grow, not just upgrades.

Posted via CB10

Couldn't agree with ya more Umi. I love your articles, how they make sense of the stock market for us non stocky type people lol.

I don't think that the Q10 is going to be used to push upgrades from Curve users though. If it was the case then BBRY wouldn't be coming out at he R10.

The Q10, IMO, is the upgrade for Bold users and the R10 fir the Curve ones. For us Torch Dans I don't know if they are going to follow through on the patient leak or not but u hope they do. They they have the new kids on the scene, Z10 and P10 (P for phablet don't know if anyone else has coined this yet just popped into my head).

The Zed and Pee are defently there to pull in the Android and iPhone users to the awesomeness that is BlackBerry.

The Q10 though is very much going to be the big money maker out of the line and I think the phone that carrys the rest.

Posted via CB10

I think there are three customer types:

- 'new customers' (who have never used a BlackBerry). These are Z10's target.

- 'returners' (who used to use BlackBerry, defected, but might like specific BB elements). These could go either way - Q10 or Z10, depending on what current preference is. I've seen these guys buy either device. Some love touch screen now and went Z10. Some hate typing on glass still and went Q10 due to modern OS.

- 'upgraders'. (people currently on BlackBerry devices). These are going to be mostly Q10, I think or R10. Some early adopters or PlayBook users might go Z10.

I'm an "Upgrader" and I took the Z10 because I wanted a larger screen size. Perfection to me would be a Torch version (T10?) to have best of both worlds.

Posted via CB10 from my Z10 or PlayBook!

I like your thinking here. I have to say though on the Q10 / Z10 debate. We were in a Telus store in Vancouver this weekend for my wife to buy a Q10 both her and a friend both have / had Bold's and are upgrading. I have a Z10 and both were going to go with the Q but in the end both decided to go with the Z10 because they realized that the full screen is the future. Also the Telus store noted that the market is split and they were seeing a lot of sales of the Z over the Q and that the SG4 wasn't selling as fast as they had expected nor the HTC One. Interesting. Yes - one store anecdotes.

Posted by my awesome Z10

They put this sort of crap on the front page but not one article about the Z10 rebooting issue?

Hide it well Kevin. I'm loosing respect for CB.

Posted with a BlackBerry Z10

My Z10 reboots daily. I take it with a grain of salt but the problem does exist and needs to be address.

Posted via CB10 from my Z10 or PlayBook!

I've rebooted my phone maybe 3 times since Feb 5th. And it was to fix the android runtime both times.

No issue on my end.

Posted via CB10

Danny I hadn't even downloaded any Android ports when the issue occurred. I could just leave the cell on the counter then the BB booting logo pops up. Even if Android apps made it buggy it shouldn't be like this and should be address asap.

Posted via CB10 from my Z10 or PlayBook!

If you're having an issue with rebooting just replace it with your carrier. It's under manufacturer warranty. No need for you to suffer from a faulty device. I did that and no more random reboots. FYI, it's most likely cause IS the android runtime and an android app

Posted via CB10

Yes, I'm with the no issues group. I've rebooted maybe 3 times since February. Sounds like a faulty device. May want to get that looked at.

Posted by my awesome Z10

Stop trolling. If you had checked the forums you wouldn't be talking nonsense. You can always delete your CB account if you feel the way you do. No one is forcing you to have an account on this site.

Totally agree with you, I'm long but for how many quarters?This week is going to be an opportunity for BB to excite investors,anyway they are back and I don't think they want to be just RIM anymore. so I have faith in BB and my investment.

Good article. I think if they have get some of the legacy items that some are upset about into the the device their base will be covered. As far as bringing over people from other platforms it's all in the apps. Businesses and government agencies will start to pick these devices up more rapidly due to the security and the fact that these are just t close to being the old Blackberries of yesteryear

I wish they would find a strategic partner who can drive the hardware cycle for them faster. Someone who wants to license the Os. That would really make them stronger.

Posted via CB10

The biggest issue I see is the carriers (specifically Verizon) not updating the software. I am still on I have contacted Verizon many times only to be told non truths about who updates the software. I hope that Verizon updates soon. I believe Verizon is killing BlackBerry by not updating the software. AT&T has updated the software already 3 times! The Q10 will have 10.1 on it already. Maybe they are waiting for the Q10 to come out as to not have to continually push out updates. Man I hope it's soon.

You should download the leaked OS. I'm on Verizon too and was pissed about them not updating and was skeptical about the leak. I downloaded and haven't looked back. And I'm running Skype and other apps I wasn't able to get. Plus the keyboard and battery life is even better.

Posted via CB10

I hope that Q10 is a huge success.

But, I don't know how it is that Chris constantly embraces whatever piece of pro-Blackberry analysis that is published but rejects anything negative. This seems kind of fanboi-ish.

This 3:1 ratio of Q10s to Z10s is stated now like it is a fact but there is no reliable source for this.

I may be overly pessimistic because I live in the US and I don't feel like the Z10 is doing very well here. It is not getting a lot of carrier or advertising support.

Things may be different on the enterprise end but I have no way of telling.

He did provide a source for the 3:1 comment. Click on his bluefin link and read that article. That might satisfy what you're looking for. :)

I understand that but the point is that this kind of report is considered reliable but contrary reports are not.

The truth will eventually come out, whatever it is. The sales will be what they are.

NO THE Q10 WON'T SAVE BLACKBERRY!!! But... They should "keep moving" that way! That's only the "first steps" - but AWESOME steps!!!!

Chris, tell Thorsten I said to have the team develop a Q10-XL. Big portrait screen ratio and all. This will attract those who want to have the big touch screen and the physical keyboard. Basically a huge phone. Trust it'll sell. Huge phones are what people want.....Obviously not ridiculously huge not to fit in a pocket though. :)

Is the upgrade cycle referenced more or less rolling upgrades over two years, possibly one, or is the time frame different in this case?

Chris, I agree that the Q10 provides an important option for existing users to upgrade to BB10, however I will argue that based on the current ratio of curve:bold users even in corporate environments, that we will need to see a capable but competitively priced R10-like device that nets smartphone marketshare to make this transition happen.

What concerns me is that prior to BB10 launch, Thorsten believed the touchscreen:keyboard ratio would be 3:1, however it is now reported that production is reversed at 1:3, Z10:Q10. To me, that implies that customer uptake is not as expected and I'm sure there are reasons why we can all conject why that is so.

Good point, if true about Thorsten expecting a 1:3 ratio. I too wonder about the ratio. Without actual hard numbers, the ratio doesn't mean much. It could just as easily mean that the z10 is selling like crap. As a matter of fact, unless the q10 is outselling initial forecasts by something like 9 times, then that means the z10 is underselling compared to expectations big time (like 9 times less if q10 is selling as expected). Of course, this is all based on that 1:3 ratio you mentioned...

They have mentioned many times that the Z10 was selling above expectations.

I think a lot of non-keyboard or ex-keyboard users are coming back to PKB. I even know 2 people who were iPhone and Android users coming to this stunning piece of hardware. They are not BlackBerry loyalists, but I think that after using the Q10, they will be.

Blackberry Faithful - #TeamBlackBerry

Funny my wife and good friend both power Bold users one went from Bold to iPhone back to BlackBerry but not to the Q but to the Z and my wife who types like 60 words a minute on her PKB chose the Z over the Q this weekend because she realizes that the touch screen is the future and she likes the big screen. The Telus store even said they were selling more Z's than Q's. So who really knows. BlackBerry knows the rest of us are just speculating.

Posted by my awesome Z10

The production ratios could also be skewed by the timing. I have no way of knowing, but what if they've already made a lot more Z10s overall? Whatever they're manufacturing today isn't necessarily the same ratio as what they've done overall to date.

I admit I am not tuned into business profit/loss and income. But hasn't a lot of BBRY's consistent income been based on BIS (and bes) subscriptions until now. Haven't they given that bis income up with their new phones? What will be the impact of this change in models have on their income in the future. Doesn't that change help carriers and not bbry?

First thing first, I do hope BB success but this whole Q10 story in fact should wake BB up so it will re-channel most of its effort back to what they do best, qwerty phones.

The initial report seems to me that the "success" of Q10 confirmed the failure of Blackberry's "Z10 first then Q10" second tactic. Most of the Q10 customer are upgrading their 9900 or returning BBer. The Z10 does not seems attracting enough those so call "new" BBer into the community (while we cannot find a very good source but we do see the price of both new and 2nd hand Z10 bottomed in many countries as well as ebay). Besides, as far as I know the late coming Q10 in fact costed Blackberry one global bank contract (anyway that's another insider story). I do hope BB don't waste too much resource on the "rumored" playbook 10". Innovation isn't bad, but good allocation of limited resource is more important at the moment.

By the way, this community is like "embraces all pro-Blackberry analysis that is published but rejects anything negative". Well, number speaks for itself, sooner or later we will know how BB does.

In shocking news, it turns out the awesome keyboard was BB's big draw. Management is stunned, as they were convinced the lower spec hardware, lack of ecosystem, and fiddly OS would be the big selling points.

If they release one with a pointing device AND the keyboard it will outsell the Q10 50:1. That will be lol funny. Not gonna happen. Or... maybe their experience with Q10 vs Z10 sales will be the clue they need. Nah, somehow I'm not confident in BB's ability to comprehend anything more complex than a chili cheese dog.

If you want any Negative news,there's plenty out there,It is here, that you truly get the real story.If you make a speculative play at this time, how the market will react,but basically how it will continue beyond a few Quarters is anyone's guess.BB needs to keep pushing and not lay back .It's far to early for the new company BB to show what it can do,but we all love a comeback story,and the reason is that not everyone can do it .Then again 6 months after BB was reincarnated , is a long time in this industry thus the KeepMoving campaing .I think they learn't their lesson and will Surprise all the naysayers.

Good article Chris. Q10 is a necessary stepping stone. We'll have to give the Z10 time.

Platform and App ecosystem maturity + Continued form factor innovation will drive BB success long term.

If a company is famous for making "weird" (by today's standards) QWERTY phones, then I think its job is to continue innovating in hi-productivity form factors. That's why so many people are saying "give us the Q10 XL". Nice name, Doza.

The R10 will tempt the other OS users to the awesome BB10 platform...
Hoping that the R10 is a roaring success.. :)

Posted via CB10 on my awesome Z10

The Q10 is instrumental for BlackBerry as they transition into different form factors.

The Q10 is THE device that loyalists will be going to for a long time. It will be great to see how they develop the PKB from now, as it would be so hard to improve from here.

Exciting times are ahead. I can barely contain myself.

Blackberry Faithful - #TeamBlackBerry

Loyal blackberry user here! Z10 lover now from Bold's Touch and Type. My concern now is the updated OS!! I'm excited for the 10.1 to come here in Manila. :)

Posted via CB10

How about they start fixing problems by pushing out updates on all devices simultaneously? I had to sideload .1720 to get the Whatsapp integration in the hub. .1720 is much better at least. Faster and less buggy.
Still it preserves the old bugs: deactived accounts suddenly in the hub or the "email XY" bug that you can't send any email using the keyboard shortcut... essential things :(

I disagree with the entire premise. I do not think that a single product and long term success belong in the same sentence.

When a modern smart phone today is only good for a couple of quarters of strong sales, there is no way to measure the long term viability of a company based on a single product release.

It will be a combination of factors that determine if BlackBerry is here to stay. Though that question alone is kind of silly when they have no debt, a cash reserve, and declared a small profit on their last quarterly report.

But smart phones is only part of the BlackBerry solution. They also have the NOC and the new BES 10 fee structure according to the analyst everyone around here loves to reference, Peter Misek, can mean up to $5 billion per year in revenue if just 5% of the companies currently involved in a BES 10 trial adopt the platform for their MDM needs. So the NOC is still going to be a significant source of revenue and the service revenues are likely here to stay. Not to mention the Transparent Distributed Computing services (that's all that M2M and Internet of things stuff we hear about) that BlackBerry can offer to QNX customers also by leveraging the NOC. This could be a huge new revenue stream down the road. In short, focusing on phones alone is to narrow. BlackBerry is aiming to be a leader in Mobile Computing and has a unique set of assets to position themselves as a major player.

But, since we are talking about phones. BlackBerry also isn't putting all their hopes and dreams on one devices either. The goal there seems to be to get the right mix of products into the market that capitalize not just on the existing subscriber base through upgrades but also hit current trends and meet differing price points.

As others have mentioned, the R10 is going to be the next BlackBerry 10 device out of the gate and it will target the current Curve customer base. Then there is likely an all touch entry level phone. Followed by a 5"+ device to tackle the 'phablet' market which happens to be the hottest consumer segment right now.

So while the Q10 is an important device, it says very little about BlackBerry beyond the next couple of quarters. Plus, the only thing it represents is BlackBerry's ability to maintain their high end QWERTY keyboard customers. The Q10 isn't going to be growing the subscriber base very much.

We know BlackBerry has more then enough cash to get them through this year. We know that they will be releasing a mix of products into the market from both a device and a services prospective creating what they hope will be a winning BlackBerry solution. So to really answer if BlackBerry is here to stay, you must look at both hardware and services and you must look at them from a broader perspective. But yes, I think BlackBerry does have a value proposition for both consumers and enterprise customers that will prove viable in the longer term. Choosing to become a mobile computing company with a total hardware and software solution should prove to be the smarter decision then adopting a 3rd party platform and becoming just another OEM.

I think Chris is suggesting the long term BlackBerry plans cannot succeed until they stabilize in the short term. The R10, Q10, and Z10 will allow them to keep their subscriber base and grow that base.

If the z10 becomes an afterthought which I'm getting the feeling it may I'm trading in to a android I will not be the red headed step child of BlackBerry because my choice was a full screen phone

Posted via Z10

Why do you think the Z10 is an afterthought? Actually most people refer the Q10 to be the afterthought and you could even somehow hear it out between the lines during the BB10 launch event in January.
The headphones might be a complete new design, which just wasn't finished when they released the Z10. Keep in mind there already is a three months timespan between initial Z10 and Q10 releases.

As for the 10.1 update, BBRY doesn't behave differently compared to any other company. Now I don't want to say this is good, but other manufacturers just aren't better. Take Microsoft with their Windows Phone updates for example, especially WP 7.8 compared to WP 8 releases. Just look how long Android supporting companies take to deliver updates to the next version. Just two years ago, when Nokias Symbian still was somehwat of alive, things were even similar there. OS upgrade Symbian "Anna" was delivered with two new devices, existing handsets got the updates weeks later. Same with Symbian "Belle" update: First native "Belle" devices, previous devices got the update later on.

BB10.1 is basicly not even two weeks out in form of the native Q10, so it is not a long time. *If* BBRY will release a native 10.2 device later this year, both Q10 and Z10 users will most likely have to be similar patient before they'll recieve this version.

Already horribly disgusted by the cheaper build and downgraded headphones as well as lack of os update as well not a happy consumer as of right now I'm tired of defending the brand when they don't defend the consumer my 2 cents

Posted via Z10

tried the Z10 but don't like a full touch screen, waiting for the Q10 to come out on AT&T. sticking with the 9900 until then.

Wanted a full screen had I been had an inkling that they would be so damn lax in support of the device I would of went with Samsung I'm already fielding offers on my phone and may jump soon to Samsung will not back a company who does not support its consumers

Posted via Z10

I think r10 will be a huge success even more so then the q10 simply q10 is just way too expensive and people in developed countries can't afford it. Plus corporate companies that have limited budget will prefer R over Q imo.

Posted via CB10

I think that BlackBerry is setting up for a major improvement in their displays. It is next to impossible to find the Z10 by itself at the carriers and stores but when you throw in the Q10, and realize how many consumers are looking for that keyboard, you have a much better advertising link to the Z10 as well. I'm hoping that the Q10 draws more consumers to the "complete line" of BlackBerry's for sale today.

Great to read that the Q10 is doing so well but there still is the issue of what happens after people get their phone. BB10 needs bug fixes to keep people from getting a bad taste in their mouth. And more so those top apps that EVERYONE expects on their phone.

Not trying to be a downer by any means and I know its only been 2-3 months.. I had alot of my users begging for a z10/q10 but after letting them borrow a z10 only two wanted one and the others either wanted to wait or begged for an iPhone. Reasons were.. missing some app they needed/wanted.. notification settings (even with 10.1 leak), felt cumbersome/sluggish, and lastly reboots... When the CEO looses two separate calls because of a reboot.. its an instant give me my old phone back.. BB10 sucks.

Bugs are expected with NEW software and hardware but not everyone understands this. Some see this as a permanent/unfixable problem and instantly write the BB off.

Only time will tell and I'm trying to hang on....

We've told you before, the Q10 is not BlackBerry's saviour, nor will it stop BlackBerry's growth if it doesn't sell that well because it's too expensive.
Most BlackBerry users can't afford it and probably won't make the needed financial sacrifice given the state of BlackBerry World and of the OS.

Let's wait for the R10, how it's priced and how it sells. Only then will we be able to speculate on BlackBerry's future

BlackBerry always makes at least one wrong compromise when designing a device. This year, it's the oled screen of the Q10

Here's my perspective from a former BlackBerry user who was forced to go to an iPhone because of an absolutely horrible experience on the BB Storm:

I will go back to BB (most likely Q10 instead of Z10) if (and only if) BB gets their act together with the Q10/Z10 to Playbook integration. It would be the perfect mobile solution for me. Otherwise, my Playbook becomes a boat anchor and there is no incentive to stick with Blackberry. Having just a phone is not enough for my needs, I require a seamless, secure phone/tablet ecosystem for my line of work. I could care less about Angry Birds (although I do like the game).

I'm sure I'm not the only person out there thinking this because others have expressed similar thoughts to me in person.

Anyway, just a former customer (and possibly customer again) perspective. Listen or don't listen. You guys are so close to the ideal mobile solution and still don't seem to get it.

I think there are a core of BB users out there who will die before giving up their BB QWERTY keyboard and, let's face it, it's the best QWERTY keyboard out there. However, this is a dwindling pool of smartphone users. The vast majority of smartphone users are switching over the virtual keyboards and even though they will acknowledge that their virtual keyboards aren't as good as real one, they aren't willing to sacrifice the full sized screens they've come to appreciate. I'm afraid that this means that BB will practically OWN the market for full QWERTY smartphones just as this market segment begins its inevitable death spiral.

BB obviously has the same concern. That's why they keep trying for a full touch BB, from the Storm, Storm II, Torch 9850/60, and now the Z10. They have to have a viable presence in the full touch smartphone market or it becomes not a matter of if BB will go out of business, but when.

I say all of this as a long time BB user. My current phone is a full touch Torch 9850 and if I do decide to stay with BB with my next contract renewal, it will be a Z10 and not a Q10. I won't lose that full screen real estate now that I've had it. I'm just not sure the Z10 is what I want for the next two years, and that is the problem....

To me Iphone has already proved most people don't really need a keyboard. Q10 is for hardcore users but Z10 is the future. Fill touch is the future BlackBerry needs to embrace to succeed going forward. That's why I went with Z10. The Q10 looks great but wasn't the 9900 the best keyboard at it's release?
Wasn't enough to save RIM.
People are over keyboards.
If Q10 is the savior BlackBerry is in trouble. They badly need Z10 to succeed.

Posted via CB10

Just thought I should clarify why I think the Q10/Playbook is a far better combination than Z10/Playbook.

If I could only use 1 device, I agree the Z10 would probably be the better choice for most users.

However, IF BlackBerry can get the Q10/Playbook working seamlessly, it will be the ideal solution for many business users. Why? Because instead of splitting hairs over the 2 row additional real estate the Z10 gives over the Q10 (which btw is more than lost as soon as the virtual Z10 keyboard is activated) we could be using the Playbook for a viewing screen and the physical Q10 keyboard to touch type on the go.

I could then toss my BB USB PB keyboard into my briefcase and only pull it out when I'm typing long documents or sitting on the plane. It is far better (imo) to NOT have the BB USB keyboard flopping about during every day use. It's cumbersome compared to something like a tethered Q10 keyboard.

People like me are not soccer mom smartphone users, checking online recipes and watching YouTube. We need secure, enterprise solutions that are targeted to business users. We don't care if it costs more IF it works!

I think Blackberry needs to refocus on what they were once great at - Business users. Forget about Angry Bird, YouTube surfing low end users until they sew up the high end enterprise users. If not, they're breaking the Marketing 101 rules of not being able to compete on price with the WalMarts of tech (Samsung, Apple, Google, etc.). Go for the higher margins (i.e. enterprise users) FIRST!

If they don't, one of the others will fill that niche and then BB will have NO competitive advantage.

Many enterprise users are already rethinking their BB only policies because of BB's waffling, trying to please everybody and end up pleasing nobody approach.

I don't recall any external reviews of the Z10 or Q10 that mentioned that BB should build new future tied to bridging to a tablet. I can't recall any reviews of the Ipad that lamented the lack of a bridge to the Iphone. Maybe we might see a tablet screen attached to a phone accessory one day.

Well now you have ... mine. :-)

Enterprise level decisions are not based on CNET and blogosphere fanboy reviews, that's for the Joe Consumer who can't decide between a Samsung, iPhone, Lumia or HTC based on the speed of the processor and pixel density for the best Minecraft and movie streaming experience.

I can tell you first hand that air tight security and seamless, reliable integration play a far more important role at the enterprise level.

Blackberry is so close, yet seems so far, it's frustrating. ARRRGGHH !!! :-(

Forgive my ignorance, but aren't the iPhone and iPad essentially the same device with differing screen sizes and aspect ratios? I don't understand why you would want to use them simultaneously. With the Q10, there's a very tangible benefit to using the keyboard with a Playbook which you simply cannot find elsewhere on the market.

"comment Thorsten Heins made to Bloomberg regarding his expectation to sell tens of millions of Q10s. "
Over the next hundred years. They need a qwrty/slider model for the best of both worlds, easy typing and large enough screen. Neither Z or Q captures the happy medium between approaches that might attract new blood to BB.

Think BlackBerry has changed, they seem to have a plan releasing devices kind of like how apple does. It won't have the same effect but should draw in way more users then the last couple years

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1. BB10 launch
2. Z10 launch
3. Support
4. Q10 launch
5. Support

If we're judging BBRY on the these five efforts, how do we mark them?

This is actually weird to say but I think the r10 is the phone to save blackberry, there are cheaper range 9790, 9360 and 9320 out there for easily 60-70% of those keyboard users you mention if u checked models registered I bet

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I got a Q10 which returned me to the brand...then got a Z10. Now with both I want another Q10 for backup in case something happens to bb. :P lol

Well they converted the Android user in me into buying a Q10 so BB definitely have the potential to make a comeback now with the Q10!

Some puffery but good article.

It's probably not a question so much that huge sales save BB as if poor sales BB will falter. A portion of the curve and bold users are loyal to BB. Many converted to the Z and maybe 70mm remain. But how many of these came late to BB when the phones were free, or $50, plus contract: I suspect half of those 70mm remaining. These users are not going to pay $500+ for a phone. At best they'll convert on the backside of the pricing cycle of the Q. Or wait for another less expensive model.

BB was the phenomenon that everyone wanted but a bit pricey for the masses until circa 2007-08. Thereafter near "everyone" could afford a BB and wanted to be seen with some sort of smart phone. ....The spenders for technology, however, had largely moved on to establish Apple, and soon to Android, by 2010 as the symbol of (perceived) technological status.

I'm amazed in travels how many BB's I still see, for example, on the streets of S.A. And the UK. But these devices are not seen in the same hands today as five years ago. Alternatively, the typical BB user of 5 years ago, I would guess, has shifted remarkably to that in possession of a BB--especially Bold or Curve--today.

Therefore that pool of 70mm curve and bold (to be fair also some Torch) users probably might be more accurately described as a base of 30mm that may consider upgrading to a newer BB qwerty priced above $300 (let alone $500-600+). To this we add a few million potential converts to come up with a realistic base of potential Q sales in its first year.

Notwithstanding the Q indeed is going to have to sell 20+mm given why appears to be the Z's slow sales for BB to swim to shore. ...And that requires more apps and some critical enhancements to OS10 (especially to attract Corp user base) fir the Q10 to get to 20, let alone to confirm Thors' projection of "multiples" as fact over bluster.

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Just as a check point regarding the cost of the device.
My Q10 cost me €50 (~ USD 65) only with a re-engagement of 24 months. More, our regulation here (FR) will allow me to unlock this device for free (1 phone call) in six months, if ever I want to trade/sell it.
Nothing to do with a $500 range device cost, that you'll meet only if you want your device SIM free and/or unlocked.

How about a US Q10 release date??? Surely it can do nothing but help Blackberry's fate...

Chris, I like the way you see this. Thanks.
I believe the most important check was whether or not BlackBerry was able to compete again with major brands. Not if they suddenly beat them all. IMHO, they've performed this mandatory step and are proven back in the game.

Q10 is the real flagship, I've no doubt about this as I can figure it's kind of a 9900 under steroids, while the Z10 was kind of alien in BB culture. Both are real competitive devices no one would decently deny that.
The surprise was - IMHO again - the Z10 sold to a greater proportion of non former BB users than loyalists. In a way, this has been playing against sales performance, as it seems the vast majority of current BB users (corporate ones in particular) decided they want to wait - at least see/compare - the Q10.

I believe BB can even afford a regular sales performance with either the Z or Q. Bleeding (finance, customers, image) sounds to me as an old qualification of the enterprise, they're back on the conquest track. In that perspective, the "R" (curve-like, highly "subsidable") devices may be another "divine surprise".

We have to put together all the previous marketing Heins and his team have revealed ... and notice how it fits the "mid/high range cross-device and M2M capable mobile computing platform" concept. Some have bashed Heins ans Boulben for their "general marketing blah". It wasn't. It was a vision, now turning into chips, software and devices and rolling out in the market right now.
Now, pump up the volume and ... let's Rock'n'Roll this.

Touch screen devices are the future, Only a BB fanboi with no idea of the bigger picture can possibly write his drivel "Q10 is the real flagship, I've no doubt about this as I can figure it's kind of a 9900 under steroids, while the Z10 was kind of alien in BB culture. Both are real competitive devices no one would decently deny that"

Think before you write this kind of crap because you are misleading others. If QWERTY phones are at all a major player why isn't the competition trying to make these devices? who else in the industry has a major qwerty device on the market right now? No one.
Blackberry aren't cornering the market, they are taking advantage of so called BB loyalists.
When BBM goes cross platform in a few weeks - those who shelled out a premium price for average BB 10 phones will be scratching their heads in stunned disbelief and wondering how to get their money back.

I persist IMHO And this is nothing but MHO.
Look at the figures: only 45% of Z10 buyers were BlackBerry users. As of date, QWERTY IS mainstream for BlackBerry users.
What the future Will be? All touch ? Maybe. But today, for BlackBerry users, it's clearly not.
Now, if you believe any BlackBerry newcomer did buy a Z/Q10 because of BBM, then, it's my turn to friendly ask you just think about it before being so affirmative.
Last, "those who shelled out a premium price for average BB 10 phones" ... well ... [self censored]

Well glad you say its your opinion, we know how far that goes. we also know how far these magic figures go as well. Where did you get them from? Please post a link of where you personally saw and confirmed them.

As for new bb buyers my response has nothing to do with that. I'm responding to the fact that you say qwerty is mainstream? it isn't. Period. Unless its for the die hards and if that's the case who cares?

Finally, bb phones are distinctly average in specs and eco system and that's a fact. I love to throw money away but the product has to fit the bill.

I suggest you get some BlackBerry related education and then you won't lose Your time discussing figures that are known since last E.R (may help you to find a "proof").
Also do not cut sentences "QWERTY IS mainstream for BlackBerry users" means ... well ... for BB users, not the world.

Finally, if ever you bought a Z10 (witch I seriously doubt, as you've just switched to the "perfect" HTC one), just return it and find the device that fits you most; You don't need to find an excuse for that, nor to spawn aggressive comments here.

OK, so you know how to check previous posts, you didn't notice I have a PB with native keyboard and own a bold 9900. You are not answering any of my questions instead you are trying to make out that I am a troll?

End of discussion, calm down, lets move on. I get your point.

I can read a profile too, yes I did notice PB and 9900.
"Think before you write this kind of crap because you are misleading others" were your own words, to start with. I believe I've been more than civil in my answers, those you didn't want to give a chance.
I'm cool, no worries.

Some very good points made. I think Q10 will be a huge step forward for BlackBerry.

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Holy *!?$# I thought I was ocd! Isn't this supposed to be about an article on the q10???

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Nigeria is a BlackBerry consuming nation. Although, Samsung and Techno are infiltrating, BlackBerry is dominating. My pain is BlackBerry is not doing much in terms of marketing here in Nigeria. So far, I've not seen any advertisement on TV stations concerning BB10 device while Samsung keeps disturbing my sanity with galaxy phones. Talk to BlackBerry will you.

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