Keyboard Loyalists to the Rescue! Q10 Sales Boost BlackBerry.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins’s prediction earlier this year that the company is going to sell a ton of its new Qwerty-keyboard-equipped Q10 smartphone was an aggressive one, but perhaps prescient, as well. A handful of recent analyst notes suggest that the handset is selling better than expected.
A week ago today, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said his channel checks showed that the Q10 has been pretty well-received by consumers, and said he expects Q10 sales to offset a slowdown in sales of its touchscreen-only predecessor, the Z10.
Then, on Thursday, Societe Generale analyst Andy Perkins raised his rating on BlackBerry to “buy” from “sell,” saying Q10 sales will reach almost one million in the fiscal first quarter. Add those to the four million Z10s that Perkins expects BlackBerry to sell, and that’s five million BB10 handsets total for Q1, which is above the current consensus of three million to four million units for the quarter.
Today comes more good news: Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um has issued a positive note on BlackBerry, observing that Q10 sales may help the company beat expectations for its fiscal first quarter. Um said his channel checks in the U.S. reveal that the Q10 is off to a good start. “[There has been] Good Q10 customer interest and demand,” Um said. “The Q10’s launch has been much more successful than the Z10 launch, which is consistent with our view that the die-hard BlackBerry installed base of 76 million loyal to the keyboard presents a strong upgrade opportunity.”
Like his colleagues at Jefferies and Societe Generale, Um, too, sees the potential for first-quarter upside over consensus estimates, though he notes that the timing of the Q10’s launch — 14 countries in mid-May; U.S. in June — could limit it.
At $14.50, BlackBerry shares are trading up today.