On Tuesday at a corporate conference in San Francisco for enterprise customers and developers, BlackBerry’s Richard Piasentin, who oversees U.S. business, said more than half of the Canadian consumers who have bought the Z10 in the recent launch are new BlackBerry users, reported MarketWatch.
The company is also finding success across the pond. U.K. consumers, also new to BlackBerry products, represent more than 33 percent of Z10 buyers.
This comes as Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) launched its BlackBerry 10 platform last month with plans to initially introduce new handsets for the OS in 2013. The touch screen Z10 already has been launched in U.K., Canada, France and Germany; this week it will be introduced in India and for interested U.S. consumers, the device is still expected to launch in the middle of March but a specific date has not been released.
Set to launch later in 2013 is the Q10. This will include the popular QWERTY keypad but the company hasn’t announced definitive plans for its debut.
Once carrying a line of popular phones among the corporate crowd, BlackBerry has hopes of renewing its previous market position as one of the smartphone brand; however, the company continues to face exceptional competitive pressure from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone and a group of devices utilizing Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android platform, especially from Samsung’s Galaxy offerings.
According to market research firm IDC, the BlackBerry platform represented approximately 4.5% of global smartphone shipments last year. This is down 36 percent from the previous year’s market share.
In addition, the company is battling with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows Phone line. This could see a following from the loyal enterprise group of its leading Windows operating system and diminish BlackBerry’s control of this group. And this also brings Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) who is the key handset vendor creating Windows Phone devices.
This news of success from Canada comes as production has increased for the phone but poor analysts reports continue rising.
MKM analyst, Michael Genovese recently slashed his outlook on the company’s shares and predicted a 90 percent chance that the BlackBerry 10 will “flop.”
He wrote via BGR.com: “We have been testing the Z10 and like the operating system, especially the touchscreen BB10 keyboard predictive text functionality, but we do not think it is differentiated enough to save the brand. The Z10 hardware seems bulky and heavy, but the biggest problem by far is the lack of available applications for BB10.”
Genovese cut his rating from “Neutral” to “Sell” and decreased Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s price target from $12 to $10.
Not helping support of the new phone is the recent news that former co-CEO Jim Balsillie, once BlackBerry’s third biggest shareholder thanks to his 26 million-plus shares holding (now trading at around $13.65), got rid of his entire position in the company as of Dec. 31.