At the outset, it looked as though the BlackBerry Z10 would do well in its debut quarter, if you were to believe the analysts and industry experts. But now, these same experts are slashing their approximations quite drastically—by 83%, to be exact. Because of a slow launch and upcoming competition, BlackBerry's next-gen smartphone isn't doing as well as hoped.
T. Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, earlier predicted that BlackBerry would sell about 1.75 million BlackBerry Z10 smartphones in February. But when reports from the U.K. and Canada detailed a limited initial supply, Walkley toned down his enthusiasm and cut his estimates to just 300,000 units.
In a note to investors, Walkley described global surveys that indicated mixed initial sales at the BlackBerry Z10's launch, and follow-up checks that showed steady but modest sales levels. "With new BB10 smartphones launching in the U.S. only in mid-March or later at subsidized prices no better than competing high-end Apple/Samsung smartphones, combined with our expectations for the Galaxy S IV to launch at a similar time frame in the US market, we are lowering our BB10 sales estimates for the February quarter and all of F2014," he wrote.
Walkley didn't seem to think things would pick up for BlackBerry in the future, either. In the same note, he cited modest carrier support, low inventory levels, weaker consumer demands and increasing competition from Apple, Android and Windows smartphones as reasons to keep BB10 estimates low. “We believe carrier support for BlackBerry 10 in the U.S. is modest, as demonstrated by Sprint only planning to launch the Q10 and T-Mobile only the Z10,” he said.
His company, Canaccord Genuity, kept its Sell rating on BlackBerry shares with a $9 price point.