BlackBerry 10: Is the honeymoon over?

Despite positive reviews, analysts adjust forecasts after delayed U.S. launch

Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

It’s barely been a month since BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion Ltd.) launched its long-overdue BB10 platform. But already the honeymoon appears to be over.

Despite positive reviews of its new touchscreen Z10 device, several analysts have dramatically slashed their initial sales forecasts for the current quarter. Two are forecasting sales of about 300,000, as opposed to the one million units that Wall Street had expected.

Part of the problem is a delayed U.S. launch­—the Z10 isn’t expected to go on sale south of the border until mid-March. There are also suggestions that initial reports of sell-outs had more to due to insufficient supplies than overwhelming customer demand. MKM Partners analyst Michael Genovese last week raised his estimate of the chance the BB10 will fail to 90 per cent, from 85 per cent.

To add insult to injury, it was recently revealed that former co-CEO Jim Balsillie, once BlackBerry’s third-largest stock holder with more than 26 million shares (now trading at around $13.65), had sold off his entire stake in the company as of Dec. 31.

Though many investors were eager to see Balsillie replaced last year, the news still came as a shock given he, too, had previously expressed confidence in BB10’s ability to spark a big BlackBerry comeback.




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BlackBerry 10: Is the honeymoon over?

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  2. This comment was deleted.

    • Could you cite the original article?

  3. “But already the honeymoon appears to be over.”? Please. BB10 is just getting off the ground. The Z10 is going on sale in new markets every week. The Q10 is not far behind. The US delay (not a BB problem) notwithstanding I think this is a smart strategy because it keeps BB in the news. It keeps people talking about them. That said for every good news BB story there appears to be a bad news BB story (like this one). People need to be careful when deciding with which to believe. Truth is no one but BB knows how they are really selling so far. The rest is just speculation. One thing we do know is there is a buzz around Blackberry again.That coupled with the fact that the BB10 devices and experience are generally regarded as being very good bodes well for the company IMO.

    • BB10 is just getting off the ground.

      That’s the problem. People were getting sick of waiting for a new Bb phone LAST YEAR. And now it’s slated to hit shelves in the U.S. around the same time that Samsung is announcing the new Galaxy S4??? Being behind the competition was bad, but at this point RIM is actually getting LAPPED.

      • Even before BB10, Blackberry was tops in email, security, and QWERTY. I don’t think anything’s changed there with BB10. What has changed is that BB can now compete with the S3 and iPhone5 in all other areas. In some areas it beats them. For example the Z10′s browser and virtual keyboard are very slick. Now that BB is at least back in the game I expect many former users will return. This fresh start gives BB a shot a winning some new customers too.
        Granted, both the S3 and iP5 are due to be upgraded soon, but we have no idea what might be 6 months down the road for BB, do we? Brand new devices on a brand new platform. Surely they have plans to build on that. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds. I for one am sick of the 2-horse race.

      • I agree… BlackBerry needed a strong launch. If the phones made it out all over the world on early December as planned, it would’ve made a stronger statement. I cant see many who aren’t on BlackBerry’s platform in the US now making to move to jump ship from Android or iOS to BB10. Its just not realistic to me. I must point out, I’m a HUGE BlackBerry fan and I really was hoping to see them fix these delay issue. Yes, the delays have much to do with carrier issues and not BB but still all this should’ve been foreseen and worked out. With the iPhone 5s and Samsung’s GS4 making their way to the market, this can truly hurt the momentum BlackBerry set with BB10. A flagship touchscreen phone is slatted to launch late 2013 (BlackBerry Aristo) but will IT also be behind the 8 Ball by then?…

  4. I cannot believe I’m reading this in macleans. This is why blackberry is in the trouble it is. Canadians not supporting their own companies. The worst part is this is an amazing product its not like by supporting it you have to use garbage, it is the best phone period and it’s only the beginning.

    If you’re reading this its because you’re at least curious about the phone don’t listen to these misleading headlines and go check it out.

    Apples Ios is old and in the same place blackberry was as an os. It’s a good product and it you want to be like everyone else a good choice. Android has some advantages but the only reason it’s out there is so Google can steal your information to sell ads so if you don’t mind that it’s another good choice. But you guys like your apps right so check what the new blackberry world has and is getting soon its alot better then before. But some advice most apps are never downloaded, security risks, slow down your phone etc.

    If blackberry was dead there would not be an article about it every time one gets turned on and as for macleans I think this article will cost you some of your own supporters.

    • I agree, a Canadian mag repeating this gossip, innuendo, about a Canadian company doing everything it can, and hitting runs and every turn now,,, it’s disgraceful macleans

  5. Complete garbage from a publication that I did have quite a bit of respect for. Why doest the author do some research before writing such trash. CEO of BlackBerry Just announced sales are beyond expectations and production is being ramped up to handle greater than anticipated demand. Doesnt sound like the honeymoon is over to me.

  6. Why would he not also include all the positive notes from analysts or the fact that the ceo of blackberry has confirmed that production had to be ramped up to keep up with demand?

  7. Absolutely love my BB10. It’s everything any phone is not.

  8. As corrupted as at the core. Shame on you not supporting Canadian company!

  9. Hmmm…so how does this reconcile with the headlines “Blackberry increases production capacity to meet demand” and “Wireless Wave Retailer says the Z10 is outselling iPhone and S3″ Shame on you McLeans…embarrassing and misleading.

  10. I thought that Macleans was supposed to report the news? Very disapointing to see this article based on out of date information.

    • At time of writing, they hadn’t read all the other news papers.

  11. The author owes me 4 minutes of my life back.. I have the BB Z10 – love it.

  12. This is a news headline in itself, the headline can be: “Every Mcleans reader submitted a comment on the Blackberry article”
    P.S. there was 17

  13. I worked for a company that sold wireless devices and Apple did the same things. They pretended to be out of iphones, but the reality is that they gave very limited amounts of the devices to the distributors. On the first day of release of the new model, only 8 devices were given to the store and there were way more than 8 people lined up to buy the devices! Then they continued to only give very limited supplies to the store, such as, 1 or 2 a week. All to make it look like there was more demand. Don’t get me wrong there was demand, but Apple could have easily distributed enough phones to the people who wanted one. I find it very difficult to believe that Apple could drastically underestimate the number of phones they needed everytime. So, if this is what blackberry is doing than at least mention that Apple has done the same.
    I Believe that RIM/ Blackberry’s downfall has been partially the fault of the media and very skewed information. Comparing Apple to Rim is fine, but comparing Android sales is inaccurate due to the fact that there are many companies that sell devices for Android’s platform. Its sad that the media has worked so hard to relish in Blackberry’s struggle. Negative media sells right. Because after all that’s all media is now is sales.

    J.F.

  14. the Z10 isn’t expected to go on sale south of the border until mid-March.

    That can’t be right, can it? That would mean that it’s possible that the Galaxy S4 might make it in to the U.S. market before the Z10. That’s just crazy.

    I was worried for RIM given that the Z10 was slated to take forever and to come out a full 8 months after the Galaxy S3, and now they’re saying that it’ll go on sale in the U.S. right around the same time as Samsung’s S4 announcement? Good luck with that RIM.

  15. I just don’t understand the motive of this? Analyst who is quoted as a reference in this changes is forecast from 85% to 90% now?
    Are you kidding me? he is accurate down to 5% now?
    This guys said: BUY APPLE AT $750!
    How is this legal?

  16. Poor journalism. Wait, is this journalism?

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