Stocks depleted within 30 minutes of arrival at Carphone Warehouse, it’s claimed
British consumers are flocking to buy BlackBerry’s new Z10 smartphone, early research suggests, with some stores reporting they have already sold out of white versions.
According to US analysts Jefferies & Co. and based on interviews with UK channel suppliers, EE, Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone and O2 are all witnessing strong demand for the device with pre orders of “several hundred thousand” cited. Stocks of the slightly less popular black Z10 are said to be fast diminishing too.
Britain is reckoned to be is among the biggest BlackBerry markets in the world, if not the biggest, acknowledged by the fact that the new Blackberry phone was on sale in Britain less than 24 hours of its New York debut.
News that the device had been well received, not just in the UK but in the phone maker’s home turf of Canada and in the Emirates, prompted a 15 per cent surge in the maker’s share price last night [4th February 2013]. It closed on Nasdaq at $14.98, further buoyed by an upgrading of the stock by brokerage firm Bernstein Research which lifted the price target to $22.
“We upgrade BlackBerry to outperform today as we believe BB 10 is set for a strong launch,” Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu said in a note to clients. “Even if the long-term prospects for the platform are very uncertain, we believe all is in place for BlackBerry 10 to enjoy a great debut.”
Even so, BlackBerry’s share price remains jittery, having slumped 10 per cent soon after last Wednesday’s launch, with investors disappointed that it won’t be available to the crucial US market until mid March.
Four analysts have also downgraded the stock since the phones were unveiled, including GMP Securities’ Deepak Kaushal, who cut his rating to reduce, the equivalent of a sell.
While praising the hardware and software, Kaushal said: “We see little at this point that will attract subscribers back from competing smartphones.”
Back in Britain staff at Carphone Warehouse, meanwhile, are reported as saying that the Z10 sold out within just 30 minutes of becoming available on January 31.