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

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Z10 and Q10 Edited

Yesterday, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine that BlackBerry has “ramped up our production” of the Z10.  In addition, he stated that “The fact is that we have been surprised by the positive response. We have now increased our production capacity.”

Having had many popular models over the years, including the original Bold 9000 and touch-screen Bold 9900, BlackBerry has experienced quarters in which it shipped as many as 16 million smartphones in a quarter.  Previous indications, including comments from carriers Rogers and Bell, have revealed that the Z10 has surpassed previous hits to become the most popular BlackBerry model of all time.

More Than Twice As Many Android and iPhone Users Switching to Z10 Than Expected

In the interview, Thorsten Heins gave a clear hint of the reason behind Z10 sales being higher than expected:

“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.” – Thorsten Heins

Speaking to a source inside BlackBerry, the company was originally expecting 20% of Z10 buyers to be switching over from Android or iPhone.  However, the number is currently 40% to 45%, about twice as high as expected.  The company appeared to have been quite accurate in forecasting the demand from current BlackBerry users upgrading to the Z10. However, it underestimated the number of people switching over from other platforms.

Of course, many of those switching from a competing platform are likely former BlackBerry users themselves.  Regardless, our source tells us that as the Z10 launches in more countries, it is on track to help BlackBerry reach its former peak in shipments – 14.9 million units per quarter (reached in Q4 FY2011).  This milestone is achievable once the Q10 is also launched, which means that we can expect BlackBerry to ship a record (quarterly) number of units sometime this year.

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