Speaking at a gathering of local technology start-ups in BlackBerry’s hometown of Waterloo, Ontario on Thursday, company CEO Thorsten Heins described feedback regarding the recent launch of its new Z10 handset as “encouraging.”
The phone is now selling in 21 countries around the world – including Canada, the UK, Indonesia and India – with its all-important US launch set for later this month.
“What has been a real surprise for us is that BlackBerry 10 as a platform and product is attracting users that are currently on other platforms,” Heins said at the Communitech Tech Leadership Conference.
He continued, “We are just five weeks into this. We have just one product out in 21 countries, so it is early indications, but we are encouraged by what we see and hear from our carrier partners.”
Regarding the response to the handset in India, where it launched at the end of February, Heins told the audience he’s “surprised” at how well the high-end handset has been selling.
“We shipped into the channel product that we thought would have been good for at least five days and I got an emergency call from our manager in India saying that they were sold out in two days,” Heins said, adding, “Now we are scrambling to re-load that channel.”
Of course, as usual, there is the small detail that Heins didn’t give any actual numbers regarding sales figures, which may cause some observers to raise an eyebrow in response to the BlackBerry CEO’s comments. But for the sake of the company’s future, let’s hope the phone is flying off the shelves around the world, and that the BB10 platform can turn BlackBerry around.
For BlackBerry-watchers, attention is now turning to the end of this month when the company releases its fourth-quarter financial results. The figures will include information for handset sales up to the end of February – the Z10 launched at the end of January, albeit in a limited number of markets.
Competition at the high-end of the mobile market is fierce, with Samsung on the verge of unveiling its highly-anticipated Galaxy S4 handset and Apple’s iPhone 5 still taking a big slice of the market.