BLACKBERRY ARTICLE FORBES 3-25-13

BlackBerry’s new device, the Z10, has now been introduced in a number of markets including the United States.  It appears to have had a strong launch in places like Canada, theUnitedKingdom and India.  In contrast, the launch in the U.S. by AT&T has been listless.  The reason the BlackBerry launch has gone better in Canada, United Kingdom and India compared to the United States is because in those countries the supply has been in balance with the number of BlackBerry loyalists.

We have conducted on the ground research at a number of AT&T stores and found that there is not much enthusiasm for Z10 on the part of consumers, and that AT&T is not putting its marketing muscle behind the new smartphone.  In fairness, AT&T allowed for pre-orders and this may explain some of the lack of activity in the stores.

Verizon will start selling Z10 on March 28and Sprint has decided not to carry the phone.

My research shows that BlackBerry has a large number of loyalists who are likely to upgrade to the Z10 now, or the Q10, which has a keyboard, when it is introduced.  The key question is what will happen after BlackBerry loyalists are done upgrading.

In my analysis, at least in the United States, Z10 is simply not compelling enough to attract present users of Apple iPhones or Google Android phones. This leaves BlackBerry with the option of attracting those who are now using feature phones.  In the United States, the smartphone market is near saturation and the pool of people who are likely to upgrade from feature phones to smartphones is relatively small.

In the emerging markets, the pool of people upgrading to smartphones is large.  In theory this large pool should help BlackBerry….Read more at Forbes 

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