Earlier today we got word from GLENTEL, the Canadian public company that owns all of the WIRELESSWAVE locations in this country. Simon already told you in this post that sales of the Z10 exceeded all other smartphones in the month of February at WIRELESSWAVE locations.
So what does this mean? I have a few thoughts.
First of all, they are not the biggest of retailers but they are statistically significant. They carry every major smartphone on the market and they have 330 stores in Canada. If the BlackBerry Z10 is outselling all other smartphones in their stores, it represents undeniable evidence of very strong demand.
We've also heard plenty of reports of carrier stores unwilling to sell Z10s off contract. This is a sign that demand would otherwise exceed supply. Could supply have been very light to begin with? It's possible, but seems doubtful.
I read Kevin's From the Editor's Desk post and found myself nodding along to the part where he described the enthusiastic response from other Z10 owners. In the 27 days I've had my Z10 I've shown it to a lot of people including Android and iPhone owners. I'm not saying everyone is going to run out and buy one, but the reactions are genuinely positive when people see the awesome keyboard, time shift camera, and BlackBerry Hub / Flow experience.
Is Canada special? Maybe. But it's not like Canadians haven't also been ditching BlackBerrys for iPhones and Android phones. They have. There is no shortage of anecdotes from people talking about their shrinking BBM contact list driven by friends abandoning BlackBerry. So we have to keep in mind that Canada has been a source of bleeding for BlackBerry too. We're not some special holdout market that won't look at another phone brand. And this is what makes the WIRELESSWAVE statement so interesting.
So I wouldn't be surprised if BlackBerry 10 is also selling very well in other recently launched markets such as the UK and the UAE. But we're all obviously anxious to see how well BlackBerry does in the US market. I shouldn't be long before we find out. It's almost March. And soon after that we should be looking at a Q10 launch around the world.
Obviously the Z10 is new, so February should have been an incredible month for sales in Canada. But keep in mind that even if BlackBerry can settle in half of iPhone sales, the company will be back on solid ground.