BlackBerry Z10 is a Smash Hit From Canada to Europe to Middle East (Update)

[Most recently updated on March 6, 2013, to include interviews from Indian newspaper The Hindu and Spanish newspaper Expansion, located at the bottom of this article]

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Mobily White Z10 Picture

The website of Saudi Arabia’s Mobily, one day after it started selling the Z10.

Two weeks ago, Bloomberg reported that a Carphone Warehouse store in the UK sold out of the BlackBerry Z10 in 20 minutes.  In Canada, Z10 sales at Rogers broke previous BlackBerry records, with one store in downtown Toronto selling out by 11am on the first day.  Similarly, the Z10 also attracted record sales at Bell.  Sales were strong not only on the first day, but stores in major cities were consistently sold out in the first week.

Demand for Z10 Outstripping Supply in Middle East

Qtel Z10 Friday Feb 15 2

It appears demand for BlackBerry 10 is even stronger in the Middle East.  In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the Z10 was launched on February 11th, and newspapers have reported that demand has outstripped supply.

The Z10 launched in Qatar on the same day. The website of Qtel, one of the country’s main smartphone retailers, showed that the Z10 was sold out on Friday, while there are 5 units left today (screenshot in gallery below).

Axiom Telecom in Saudia Arabia Received 4,250 Pre-Orders in 48 Hours

Extra Z10 Jeddah Picture

The Z10 launched in Saudi Arabia yesterday (Feb 16). Axiom Telecom, unlike other carriers, actually gave a concrete number for Z10 pre-orders, stating that it received 4,250 pre-orders in 48 hours.  Axiom is only one of six retailers selling the Z10 in the Kingdom, so the total pre-order number is likely between 15,000 to 25,000 units.

At Mobily (one of the 5 five other retailers) the white Z10 is showing as sold-out on its website (screenshot below).  Meanwhile, after only one day of sales, Extra’s website indicates that some stores in major cities such at Jeddah and Riyadh are sold out of the Z10 (screenshots below).

Middle East Accounts for Significant and Increasing Proportion of BlackBerry Sales

These numbers are significant, since Saudi Arabia and the UAE are estimated to be BlackBerry’s 3rd and 4th largest markets, representing 7% and 4% of BlackBerry’s 79 million subscribers, respectively (according to Byron Capital Markets).  Meanwhile, the UK and Canada are estimated to represent 11% and 4% of BlackBerry subscribers, respectively.

Together, these four countries represent 26% of BlackBerry subscribers.  In France (4% of total subscribers) the Z10 has been well-reviewed by customers.  If that country is added to the total, then Z10 sales already appear to be strong among 30% of BlackBerry’s 79 million subscribers.  We will find out actual Z10 sales numbers when BlackBerry reports fiscal Q4 earnings on March 28th.  It appears that, so far, sales could be on track to beat consensus estimates on Wall Street.

Screenshots of retailers in the Middle East being sold out of the Z10 are in the picture gallery below.

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Update 1 (Feb. 24, 2013) – BlackBerry Ramps Up Z10 Production

In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine today (Feb 24) Thorsten Heins stated that for the Z10, “we have ramped up our production”.  He also stated that “The fact is that we have been surprised by the positive response.”  Regarding the proportion of Z10 buyers who are previous Android and iPhone owners, he said:

“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.”

We were the first tech blog in the world to declare the Z10 a smash hit.  Personally, I have just ordered my third Z10 today.  We will find out concrete sales numbers on March 28th.

Update 2 (March 6, 2013) – BlackBerry Raises India Sales Forecast by 40%

In an interview with Indian newspaper The Hindu yesterday, BlackBerry’s Managing Director for India stated that the company has raised its sales forecast for India by 40% because of initial consumer response to the Z10.  In addition, he said that in order markets, about 45% of the people who bought a Z10 were switching from a competing platform.

Update 3 (March 6, 2013) – Thorsten Heins Surprised by Number of Z10 Buyers Coming From Other Platforms

Thorsten Heins said in an interview with Spanish newspaper Expansion today that the Z10 has drawn more interest than expected from users of rival smartphones.

“We are receiving a very positive response to BlackBerry 10 from our customers, but it’s also been attractive for customers coming from other platforms.  We are a little surprised by that.” – Thorsten Heins

Related Articles:

How BlackBerry 10 Will Overtake iOS and Android to Have the Highest Number of Apps

Why BlackBerry Z10 is a Much Better Deal than iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S

BlackBerry Ramps Up Z10 Production as Android and iPhone Users Switch Over in Droves

Be sure to check back on this page, as we will be updating Z10 sales figures as they come in.

Do you live in one of the five countries mentioned in this article?  If so, please let us know in the comments below how you feel sales are going.

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  • A emme

    $BBRY Blackberry Z10 is now widely available in IndonesiaThe country’s largest telco Telkomsel proudly announced via Kompas that it managed to sell 2,600 Z10s during the pre-orders period. That is a bigger number compared to how many iPhone 5s Telkomsel sold from pre-orders. So far so good for Blackberry.

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  • A emme

    INDIA/Even at Rs 43,490, BlackBerry Z10 sales off a good start (before reading article consider Z10 is sold in 5000 BBRY stores in INDIA: already around more than 250.000 devices sold in few days only in BBRY stores, non considering non BB stores?). Amazing!

  • Pingback: BlackBerry Ramps Up Z10 Production as Android and iPhone Users Switch Over in Drovess | The Gadget Masters()

  • coolheat

    I use to have an iPhone. My friend gave me his Z10 to use for the afternoon. I am now a very happy Z10 BlackBerry user. It is an amazing phone.

    • Michael Li

      I’m glad that you are now a fellow BlackBerry user!

  • kaydpea

    this site has some seriously irresponsible “journalsim / reporting” going on. “sold out” doesn’t mean anything other than the fact the supplier probably limited production. which we know they did. the higest estimates from goldman sachs are saying likely ~1 million units sold in first quarter. compared to the galaxy s3 which sold 20 million units and was available everywhere. that’s a dramatic difference between supply and demand. if i make 2 tacos and open a stand and sell both food and wine aren’t going to write and article saying my food is so good i sold out on opening night.

    • Michael Li

      Comparing Z10 sales to Samsung Galaxy SIII sales is simply ludicrous. Android has 70% of smartphone market share, while BlackBerry had 3.5% in the latest quarter. For BlackBerry, being sold out (in the around 10 countries the Z10 is available) requires selling around 2 million Z10s from Jan. 31 to March 2. For Samsung, being sold out would probably require selling over 40 million smartphones per quarter. In both cases, both companies are sold out, but the quantities are very different.

  • Playbook007

    As a company, we have introduced 2 units at a time for general testing and feedback…..We currently have 6 employees using the Z10’s and they love them. Now we are putting in the rest of the order to bring us up to 14 company supplied z10’s. Personally, I put this phone through a multitasking nightmare, and it can do anything basically all at the same time, and I could not crash the phone…..for example 1) uploading ripped cd’s, while running the music player, while using the remote to drive my playbook running the TV, while downloading apps from Blackberry World and having 8 apps open and running. I could not crash the phone and was amazed at how fast it continued to do all the functions…..the z10 is nothing short of amazing…..ask anyone who owns one… not take the advice from people that don’t have a clue.

  • coolheat

    We ordered 4 more phones. Still on the waiting list. It’s been 6 days now. Carrier said that he is receiving only 50 or 60 phones each week, and is falling further behind.

    • naz

      That can’t be true because what you are saying is that rogers have more than a five hundred selling spot in canada and they are getting only 60 units per week.
      Sorry but that can’t be true

      • Michael Li

        He probably means each store gets 50-60 phones each week, which is a reasonable number.

  • A emme

    Michael, first of all my compliments for serious work. I think you can be interested in this info. The BlackBerry Z10 dethrones the Samsung Galaxy Note II in the Official Smartphone Rankings

    • Michael Li

      Thank you for the link.

  • Jamie Young

    I pre-ordered my Z 10 phone and picked it up the day it was released in Canada. The phone is better than I had hoped. I read articles about over heating and the phone freezing but I know 4 peoeple with this phone and non of us have had any of these problems. Great phone and amazing OS.

    • Michael Li

      Thanks for sharing! I definitely agreed.

  • MartinJDub

    Calgary : 3 stores, sold out

    • Michael Li

      Thank you for the info!

  • Albert Naranjo

    LOL… this Michael Li guy is very entertaining with his fanboy articles! It is even funnier because I think he actually believes in them.

    • Jamie Young

      He is showing real numbers in his articles. Do you think he made up the wib site screen shots? Your a fan boy who can’t see the writing on the wall. Blackberry is taking back market share and Android and Apple are feeling the presure.

      • coolheat

        I know people in waterloo. Demand is definitely stronger then the supply. Mind you, I am not aware as to how many Z10 can be produced daily. I don’t think that they would have gone into the launch with a low supply of phones.

        • bigshaft

          Waterloo (not their only manufacturing facility) is cranking out at least 4000+ a day right now.

          • Michael Li

            Interesting. And I’d think that Waterloo probably produces the fewest number of units among their manufacturing plants, since it’d be cheaper to mass produce in Mexico.

          • nate

            this is true, the manufacturing plant in waterloo is more for product testing and development. The only reason it has been running at such high production numbers is because BB has no other options to increase production at other plants as they are running flat out.

            or so say by BB employee friends

  • rafe1621

    I don’t think I ever heard of any previous BB devices being blockbuster successes, so I don’t think that their new high-end phone outselling old phones that haven’t really been update in a couple years makes the Z10 a “smash hit”.

    • Latlante

      Personaly, I think that one is different, just in reading all the positive comments , from new users who really love it, even if they were using different kind of phones before, or technical comments talking about that special device in real positive way compared to the other company devices, or about last reported record sales reports at the start in Canada, UK and in Middle East countries, nobody can say there is nothing happening with the Z10, and with the Q10 later, I have a few shares on BB, but not enough to be a blind believer, I see what I see, and I feel a strong and deep wave coming up, but I am not God to be really sure, only future will tell us for good…

  • Latlante

    And it is without mentionning that a lot of sales are coming from people actualy using some other phones like iPhone, Samsung galaxy 3 and many others, because the Z10 is more attractive for them, and for many reasons, like security and may be for the high quality of construction of that device, so, in my mind, if they can grab only a small % of their concurrent sales, say 5 %, certainly more on a longer term, it means many millions of unities, so, it will be a great, hit, if not an homer run, and yes, it is a good opportunirty for a day trader because of the high volatility of the share price, just following the trend can bring a pretty nice business occasion, but take care, one day, the price will just go up, and never come back to that price $13-$14), but it is just my point of view…

    • naz

      yeah i was an iphone user and switch to bb z10

  • Unbreakablej

    I think the fact that car phone warehouse and phones 4 u have upped their prices by £40/70 respectively is a good indication of demand.

    • Michael Li

      Wow, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the tip. I definitely agree – price is probably the best indication of demand (for any product).

  • naz

    in montreal, Canada i had a couple of stores sold out in my area lasalle
    so i finally decided to call Bell and ordered it through the phone

    • Michael Li

      Very similar to the Toronto area. Thanks for the info.

    • Cyrus Gorjipour

      I’m from Montreal too. I had pre-ordered my Z10 so I already got mine, but my friend has been on Roger’s waiting list for the past week. Just today it showed as “shipped”

      • Michael Li

        Ya my friend who was on Roger’s waiting list just got his yesterday.

  • RaptorsTV

    The number seems pretty tiny