On Monday, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s shares are up 2.20% on news that its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones are finding success and their production has increased.
CEO Thorsten Heins said in an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, regarding the initial launch in Canada and Britain, “We exceed our expectations, and the requirements were ambitious. Before we give out specific numbers, we want to do business but watch for a while.”
The U.S. launch of the phone is scheduled for March.
Heins then added from the initial success, “We have now increased our production capacity.” He didn’t cite a number but noted, “I will not reveal at the moment. But I can say this much: significant for us and unexpectedly high proportion of BlackBerry 10 devices will be purchased by new customers who previously had iPhones or Android smartphones.”
And then there’s the question of Blackberry formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) moving into the third spot behind Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Android Phone as opposed to Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows Phones?
Heins explained, “First of all, we still have an installed base of 79 million subscribers. And BlackBerry 10 offers something that Windows Phone can not, namely, the strict separation of business and personal information. The Microsoft [OS] can not imitate times just between evening news and weather reports.”
While the CEO has expressed a lot of optimism for the phone, analysts are skeptical.
In a recent report MKM analyst, Michael Genovese, slashed his outlook on the company’s shares and predicted a 90% 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 added that less than 10% of the top-100 Android apps and under 5% of iPhone’s most popular apps are offered on the new BlackBerry platform. He noted, “Not a single top-50-grossing app on Android or the iPhone can be acquired for the Z10.”
MKM subsequently cut its rating from “Neutral” to “Sell” and decreased its price target of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) from $12 to $10.
Genovese wrote of the changes, “Our new price target reflects the lower probability of success we attribute to BlackBerry 10 following our testing of the Z10 and observing BB10’s momentum stall out in the U.K. after only a few weeks. We reduce the estimated probability that BB10 will be a success and the stock will appreciate to $40 to 10% from 15% and increase the estimated probability that BB10 will fail and the stock will decline to $7 to 90% from 85%.”
Meanwhile, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) will move forward with the launch of the new phone. On Monday, it had been unveiled in India on Monday and on Tuesday it will be available for sale there.
Consumers will be able to purchase the new device at over 2,000 retail outlets across 50 cities in India. It will come in white and black and will support 3G or HSPA+ networks with global roaming availability.