The BlackBerry Z10 is now on sale with AT&T in the U.S., following a wide international release over the past weeks; but analysts are already concerned that sales of the new hardware isn’t meeting expectations. The harshest criticism comes from Goldman Sachs, where its general company investment advice has been lowered from a “buy” level to simply “neutral”. A research report says that while the international release of the Z10 was “solid,” the early U.S. sales were, “disappointing.”
Citigroup is quoted as finding fewer than 5 percent of shops stocking the Z10 in the U.S. had sold out of their stock allocation, even though the stock figures totaled around 12 handsets per store. After this negative reaction, BlackBerry’s stock price has fallen by nearly 10 percent since Friday.
Citigroup’s analyst also rubbished BlackBerry on CNBC, saying retail store staff hadn’t been trained to understand BlackBerry 10’s benefits, in-store promotions were non-existent, and the product itself wasn’t, “compelling.” The attack continued as the lack of particular apps inside BlackBerry World was highlighted, along with the Z10 not matching competing smartphones’ technical specifications.
Not everyone is so down on BlackBerry’s early results, as an analyst at Jefferies & Co says, “demand is slightly better than our very modest expectations.” After carrying out some checks, it was discovered that several stores had sold out of the Z10 and were expecting new phones to be delivered.
This is only stage one of BlackBerry’s U.S. launch, with T-Mobile expected to be next to launch the Z10, and Verizon already confirmed for the end of the month. To us, this financial posturing is only to be expected ahead of BlackBerry’s very important earnings call scheduled for March 28. It’s only then we’ll get the real story on BlackBerry’s international sales figures, and early official figures related to its U.S. performance.