Big Surprise: Analysts cut Blackberry 10 sales projections from 1.75 million to 300 K




We are not going to automatically take credit for the latest downwardly revised sales projections for the Blackberry Z10, but we will say we were one of the first to indicate the device was not doing anything special for Blackberry’s sales numbers.

Now Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley has also jumped on the bandwagon, revising their sales estimates for Blackberry’s saviour from 1.75 million in Q1 2013 to a mere 300,000.

“Our global surveys post the recent BlackBerry Z10 launch indicated mixed initial sales with limited initial supply cited as the reason for early post-launch stock-outs at some carrier stores rather than overwhelming demand,” Walkley wrote in a note to investors. “Our follow-up checks have indicated steady but modest sales levels. With new BB10 smartphones launching in the U.S. only in mid-March or later at subsidized prices no better than competing high-end Apple/Samsung smartphones, combined with our expectations for the Galaxy S IV to launch at a similar time frame in the US market, we are lowering our BB10 sales estimates for the February quarter and all of F2014.”

He said “modest Z10 sales into the channel in the U.K. and Canada” were largely responsible for his decision to lower his Z10 sales estimates by 83% for Q2 2013 and did not expect things to improve much going forward.

“We believe carrier support for BlackBerry 10 in the U.S. is modest, as demonstrated by Sprint only planning to launch the Q10 and T-Mobile only the Z10,” he wrote. “Further, we anticipate carriers will not build large inventory levels for BB10, consistent with prior BB7 high-end launches, and will initially stock modest levels given the weaker consumer demand for high-end BlackBerry smartphones.”

“With our expectations BB10 smartphones will face increasing competition from a host of new Android and Windows smartphones and potentially a new iPhone in 1H/C2013, we anticipate global carrier partners will order cautious initial BB10 inventory levels, leading us to lower our Feb. quarter and F2014 BB10 estimates.”

Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette joined the death chorus, projecting BlackBerry Z10 shipments will total 275,000 to 325,000 units in Q1 2013, significantly less than Wall Street expectations of 1 million units.

“We believe the Street has gotten ahead of the potential reality for BB10 shipments,” writes Faucette. “There is no line of sight to profitability; we remain sellers of BBRY.”

Faucette says that to achieve “sustained profitability,” BlackBerry will need to triple or even quadruple current shipment estimates, and adds that he’s “skeptical that BlackBerry has any reasonable path toward achieving these kinds of shipments.”

Blackberry is competing with Windows Phone for the 3rd mobile ecosystem, with many doubtful the smartphone market can sustain more than even two.  Given the reality of the smartphone market, the sooner Blackberry is webOS’ed, the better for Windows Phone.


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