The new BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY)/(TSE:BB) flagship smartphone, Z10, will be released on March 22 in the U.S. At least, that's according to the now-ubiquitous anonymous insiders. The company—formerly Research In Motion—will also start selling its Q10, albeit a little later.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ask: New dawn for BlackBerry or too little, too late?
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Hugo Miller and Scott Moritz listen to "two people familiar with the plan":
The touch-screen phone will begin appearing [on 3/22] said the people, who asked not to be named. ... BlackBerry, which gets about one-fifth of revenue from the U.S., is counting on the Z10 to revive its brand’s appeal.
[It] will have already debuted in 21 countries [but] American consumers have had to wait because their carriers have longer testing periods. MORE
Roger Cheng adds:
Many are keen to see how well the BlackBerry Z10 does in the U.S., which is...a key indicator of its long-term prospects. [It's] had a good start in Europe and Canada, but the U.S. will be a major test.
A challenge for BlackBerry will be sustaining the momentum and good will earned after its unveiling in January. Since then...HTC unveiled the One...and Samsung Electronics is scheduled to show off the Galaxy S4 next week.
The Z10 will only launch at AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, while the keyboard-packing Q10 will show up at AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint Nextel. MORE
"A good start" you say? Stephen Schenck's not so sure:
Some reports, like those from Pacific Crest, indicate that after an initial rush in nations where the Z10′s available, sales have seriously slumped.
On the other hand, you’ve got analyst firms like Jefferies & Company which report having traveled to a number of retailers...and have found the sort of limited inventories or...outright sell-outs that seem to indicate ongoing healthy consumer demand.
we’re anxious to get some hard numbers and finally know in what light to view BlackBerry’s recent attempt to reinvent itself. MORE
So what about the earlier rumors that it'll be March 15? Tyler Lee expostulates:
[This] doesn’t mean that nothing will take place on the 15th of March. While the phone might not be up for sale on the 15th, it is speculated that...pre-orders could begin on that day.
Then again with the Samsung Galaxy S4 being announced on the 14th, perhaps a later announcement date...might make sense...if they don’t want to be drowned out. MORE
But Saad Rabia calls it "too little, too late":
The Z10 is one big mess all round. ... I went to a local store in Dubai and they opened a new unit for me to test, I **** you not the Z10 froze after 2 minutes...completely no reaction!
This no button business isn’t going to appeal to BB customers and other smartphone users are better off sticking to what they have now.
I give BB another 2 to 3 months and they will either start shutting down some sectors or just sell the whole company. MORE
Meanwhile, Matt Hamblen talks to IT users at P100:
...nobody, out of about 20 CIOs and senior VP's of IT...said they would be endorsing or adopting the platform, except for one CIO who...said, "I only use BlackBerry because my boss wants us to." ... At a luncheon...I also asked a group of eight CIOs...if anybody was moving to the new BlackBerry device, and everybody but the current BlackBerry user shook his head...some even grunted, almost in disgust.
One of the CIO's cornered me later and said..."All that doesn't matter if the users buy something else as their phone." ...in a Bring Your Own Device world, the users get to decide what works. ...one CIO told me, "We battled the users over BYOD and the users won.".
My unscientific and limited research...shows it will face a battle to gain user mojo. MORE