Solid Z10 demand in Canada is another positive sign for BlackBerry

Blown Away by the BlackBerry Z10
By Chris Umiastowski on 25 Feb 2013 11:10 pm EST

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.

Reader comments

Solid Z10 demand in Canada is another positive sign for BlackBerry


LOL! Love the photo! Though the article title should be something like. "Blown Away by the Solid Z10 Demand in Canada"

Thanks DJRME,

I just voted for BlackBerry Z10; looks like the majority of the votes are going towards Z10 and Samsung Galaxy SIII~! Let the whole CrackBerry nation vote for Z10~!! =)

Yea, this says ALOT! THE PEOPLE are what's really important. "Experts" is a very fluid term these days. LoL SHARE! SHARE! SHARE!

Same here for a brief moment I thought it was a hairy woman's leg. In that case, Kevin would need to shave :)

Well every Canadian should definitely own one. Make that company huge like how Americans hv made apple huge. Plus blackberry10 has lots to offer. And with everyone on it, those bum devs will have no choice but bring their apps to you. Thank you. Lol

Let's be clear on this: Canadian patriotism is a poor reason for buying any product more involved than a flag. I'm not going to buy a product I know doesn't meet my needs just for the sake of supporting the "home team".

That said, I'm proud of BB as a Canadian company and I'm a very happy user of its competitive Z10.

I am not sure what your point is.

I have a Z10 (love it) but I also own a Huawei portable wireless internet router and I bought my son a Huawei cell phone (a starter phone to make sure he uses it wisely and takes care of it).

Are you suggesting that they don't make good products? Sorry, I really don't understand what you are suggesting.

If you're waiting for Canadians to be patriotic like Americas are in terms of "supporting their own", it isn't going to happen.Some Canucks do buy local for sure, but Canadians usually sneer louder at RIM than anyone else. Canadian media attacks RIM more nastily and with more ongoing vigor than anyone else.

It's our way ... Americans cheer for their own. Canadians sneer at theirs.

Remember BB does not have to sell as many as apple and sammy sell phones. I think the last number I heard that less than 10 millions phones that include bb7phones in entire year will turn profit for BB. BB7 will bring some BIS revenue and BB10 will bring upfront money. 1 billion cost cutting will help as well. I see lots of hardware postings on BB website popped up recently which is always good sign

I don't know what your source is, but I think maybe that was meant to be a quarter. BB/RIM sold 7 million Legacy phones last quarter, so 10 million a year would be a terrible year.

Still waiting to get my new Z10 from Virgin Mobile, they will not sell off-contract yet.....Cant wait!

God almighty I don't know if I'll be able to hold out for the Q10 at this rate. The Z10 may be in my hand first.

My 29yr old tenant in my apartment is a government employee was telling me he was a longterm BB user but required a browser and app.So for two years he switched to a Samsung. He said the S3 is a great phone with great apps , but poor on storing files, email is poor, he missed BBM and the QWERTY. He said he will move to BB along with his friends. He wants to purchase the Q10 because the BB10 browser is awesome and the apps was overkill on S3 he wants the QWERTY. He said the Q10 will be an automatic A+ seller. I told him get the Z10 to start your gesture education so when the Q10 comes you can leap in to the BB10 with the QWERTY. So he did and he says he just loves the Remember App and the great Privacy Apps. He is starting his BBM voice/video experience and loves it !

I am seeing BB catching on and iOS & Droid users moving back to BB. BBRY only requires a small conversion of iOS & Droid users to BB10 to impact the bottom line. Missed by the media.

The small screen of the BlackBerry Q10 will sorely disappoint anyone expecting to be able to use a touch-screen smartphone. The physical keyboard is only good for typing text and numbers but does not provide any navigation within the applications (apps). I was sceptical about the BlackBerry Z10 all-touch-screen user interface but between the virtual keyboard with predictive words and the decent-size screen for viewing content I do not foresee another physical keyboard in my future any time soon.

The physical keyboard offers many shortcuts that are not available on the Z10, these shortcuts are great to have if you need to be productive however the Z10 is one awesome device.

I must say I love the way Canadian natives stand behind BlackBerry. I think the Z10 is a great product and I plan to get it myself. I always owned an iPhone and I live in the US. I just got to the point where after owning a PlayBook I just want more of BlackBerry. Even after all the negative blogs about it I just think it works for me. I wish the company success and can't wait until the USA launch. Check this out by copying and pasting this to your browser.

And if BlackBerry restores full functionality to BlackBerry Bridge between BlackBerry Z10 (BlackBerry OS 10) and BlackBerry PlayBook (BlackBerry Tablet OS 2) we will have the best smartphone and tablet combination on the market. I have to agree with CrackBerry Kevin that keeping the current user interface of the tablet is better than trying to put the smartphone user interface on the tablet. The underlying OS can be identical but the user interface needs to reflect the use case of each device.

If you have been following events in Korea, you might think twice about buying anything from certain Korean companies (one of them has just managed to get a whistleblowing MP dismissed). And then there's the PRC and its interesting practices. Being patriotic when buying things is actually a sound investment so long as there is competition, and so long as the West has Apple, BlackBerry and Nokia that will be the case.

I luv it. That picture brings back memories of old. Anybody here old enough to remember, i think, that old Memorex commerical? The guy sitting in his chair ike that while hearing a recording from Memorex and a quote: Is this live or is it Memorex? Now the quote should say " is this just a phone or is it....... BLACKBERRY


There's many people waiting for the Q10 including minor and major corporations/companies.
It would have been nice to launch both phones at the same time, but that would have probably delayed the launch, so BlackBerry did the right thing.

Can't wait to see numbers.

Knew BB10 was gonna be a sucess. Eat that and choke on it iSheep.

Only thing Im waiting for is BB10 for my Playbook.
I’d rather be a Black Sheep than an iSheep any day.

My contract is not for renewal until November. There was no way i was going to wait until then so I bought of contract. O2, Vodafone, and Car phone warehouse would not sell me one due to demand. I was only offered the chance by phones4U and they would only sell me the white one as black was out of stock. I love my storm trooper!!! Demand seems very strong in Northern Ireland...

Hi Chris, I always appreciate the insight. I was wondering if you could comment on what other analysts are saying? I realize there is always going to be a divergence of opinion but is there anything you know of that could explain the negative sentiment of some analysts? I am just trying to reconcile the statements from bearish analysts and what we are actually seeing on the ground.

It's a kind of silly stat to hold any water to.

To say that the Z10 is outselling other phones, and what is essentially a kiosk in most Canadian malls, is a little self explanatory. It's like saying an Apple phone or Android phone is out selling the Z10 when their new models will be launched. The easy answer is "Of course it's out selling them." But show some sales numbers. They won't tell you the sales numbers, neither will BlackBerry.

Apple sold 40+ million phones last quarter, Samsung sold 40+ million Galaxy phones, so most people that wanted one of these phones, already have one. That's a lot of phones.

Now when the new iPhone 5S or 6 and new Galaxy S4 phones are for sale, these retailers will sell the same sales song, and unfortunately, the Z10 & Q10 will be forgotten about.

Hmm 'just a kiosk in most Canadian malls' that happens to carry every major smartphone on the market and have 330(!) stores in Canada.
I'd say that that proves it's significant!

Furthermore to say that by the time the 'new' iPhone x/xx(s) and S4 launch, both Z10 and Q10 will be forgotten I sooo totally disagree with that!! On the contrary, potential buyers will be able to closely compare the three and make a sound decision ... finally.

I can understand your logic but when you consider where Blackberry has come from, this is nothing to scoff at. Nobody said they were in the #1 position or anything, just selling more than any other brand this month. It's actually quite amazing to me when I see the small market share that Blackberry holds.

Oh, and from past experiences, Iphone releases are nothing to get excited about, and people are catching on to that.

"iPhone releases are nothing to get excited about and people are catching on to that"

Cite your source... or better yet, let me do it for you:

iPhone 5 sales break record on first day...

iPhone 5 Pre-Orders Top Two Million in First 24 Hours

We will be lucky if RIM can sell 2M Z10's in a quarter, let alone one day. One would think if the Z10 is selling like their CEO will led you to believe, they would have sent out a press release with numbers. It would be improbable to think they can hit Apple or Samsung type numbers, besides they wouldn't have to manufacturing capacity to do so.

The 4S took longer to sell out (22 hours) than the 4 (20 hours). That is a fact. That suggests waning enthusiasm for a new launch.

While Apple did have more and faster pre-orders for the 5 I think it is fair to assume some of that early demand was boosted due to experience with prior early sell-outs. It is also very important to note that Apple's iPhone 5 was released in more countries than any prior launch. To conclude that record sales for the 5 are entirely because of increased excitement misses the fact it was available to millions more people who would have had reasonable expectations of limited initial supply.

It has been widely reported that iPhone5 production has been cut. You are welcome to interpret that how you want but to me that implies that, beyond the initial pre-order rush, people are catching on that new iPhone releases aren't really worth getting excited about.

Looking forward I have to agree that the people I know are catching on to Apple's lack of innovation. Samsung's ad campaigns have helped contribute to that realisation. Jimmy Kimmel making a mockery of the foolishness around Apple product launches (viewed millions of times on YouTube) is also reflective of changing sentiment regarding enthusiasm for Apple. Ask someone you know - I bet you will get a different perception of what's happening going forward than you would from the historical sources you cited.

Sadly, NASDAQ does not know anything about this great success of BB. Their shares keep falling starting February 8. Dropped from USD 16.49 per share to 13.25. It's a huge success indeed.

The market cannot possibly be reacting to sales figures, because those figures have not been released yet. The market is certainly reacting to a lot of perceptions and pressures, however.

So, indeed, NASDAQ does not know anything about the sales figures, so nobody, not even you, can judge from NASDAQ whether this launch is a success (however you choose to qualify the word 'success'.)

It may of course be a personal failure for you, if you bought stock February 8.

ugh... stories like this kinda bug me... yes its great that wirelesswave is selling the devices, but what they fail to mention the incentives for the staff to push and push the device. Example, the source canada employees have an incentive to sell the device, they automatically get $80 for every BB10 device sold. Im sure its around the same for wirelesswave employees... so which phone are you going to push? SGS3 which may give you $20, or iphone5 which may give you $20-30... or a device that will give you $80.... i mean in the end its great as it means more sales for blackberry and more z10 out there, but at the same time, the employees are basically wanting to selling nothing but to benefit themselves.

/end rant

Exactly, regardless of the exact numbers, demand for Blackberry is bigger now than it has been poora long time, and that's with the premium price point. (As opposed to Nexus 4 demand, which is partially due to its low price).

A spurious correlation at best, I wouldn't hang your hat on the fact that people are buying 'The Latest' phone and say it somehow predicts renewed popularity. I think you'd see increased sales of any new device its first month on the market...

It's not really a surprise because chances are, most people who want the iPhone 5 or Galaxy S3 ALREADY BOUGHT ONE. It's been many months since those phones released.

If someone releasesd a game this month and it sells more copies than Call of Duty does in the same month, that wouldn't be a surprise either because most Call of Duty fans already bought the game months ago.