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Blackberry Z10 sellout challenged by analysts

Recently, Blackberry announced that the Z10 was selling beyond expectations and was even sold out in a few areas. Analysts are challenging these claims.lseries_black_eng_front_4glte1

According to BGR, RBC Capital Markets analyst, Mark Sue, wrote in a note to clients, “Checks at 40 stores in Canada indicate sell-through of the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone is strong on its launch day, with numerous stores selling out towards the end of the day. Z10 pre-orders reached record highs (for BlackBerry).

“Supply appears limited, with stores allocated avg. 5-10 units/store for walk-ins and est. 20-30 units/store for pre-orders.

He added, “Sell-through of the BlackBerry Z10 in the UK is exceeding RIM’s expectations, with some stores sold out as well. The Z10 now ranks #4 on uSwitch UK’s website ahead of the Nexus 4 and Lumia 920 (#1 remains iPhone 5). BlackBerry will launch the Z10 in other parts of Western Europe this week. Bear in mind however, BlackBerry’s presence in those countries combined is less than its sub base in the UK.”

“The toughest challenge for BB10 is re-gaining consumer smartphone share in the crucial US market. So far so good, yet BB10 needs to overcome user lock-in to Android and iPhone content ecosystems. Samsung’s new GS4 may come earlier this year, as well as Apple’s refresh, making it an even tougher environment in the spring. Microsoft (MSFT) also surpassed BlackBerry in the US for the first time since 2006.”

Another analyst, T. Michael Walkley, from Canaccord Genuity also doubts these claims. He writes, “Our U.K. store surveys post the recent launch of the Z10 smartphone indicated solid initial sales. However, limited initial supply was cited as the reason for early post-launch stock-outs at some carrier stores versus overwhelming demand. In fact, our surveys indicated most stores received less than 15 units and sold a majority of these units over a two- to three-day period, leading to initial stock-outs at a few stores and low inventory levels at others.”

He added, “While we are impressed with the features of the new BB10 OS and Z10 smartphone, we believe BlackBerry has only closed the gap with more mature smartphone OS platforms and offers limited differentiating services or features to win back customers from more mature ecosystems.”

Do you think Blackberry’s claims of a Z10 sellout are false? Share your thoughts through a comment below.