Where most believed the Z10 would pull BlackBerry back into contention, it’s the QWERTY-laden Q10 that has CEO Thorsten Heins excited as of late. The executive recently told Bloomberg he expects to sell tens of millions of Z10 handsets after a solid launch in the UK.
Heins said the Z10 was heading into the install base of 70 million BlackBerry users, many of whom have no doubt been waiting for a device that molds the new BlackBerry 10 operating system with a physical keyboard.
Shares in BlackBerry rose 3.9 percent to $15.61 at the close of trading in New York following the interview. Stock value has increased 32 percent this year with the hopes that BlackBerry’s new line of smartphones and a renewed operating system can help rejuvenate a company that’s publically fallen from grace largely due to a lack of innovation over the past several years.
Carphone Warehouse and Selfridges both sold out of the Z10 within hours according to Jeffries analyst Peter Misek. He said salespeople were well-versed on the device and there was more buzz surrounding it than the recent Z10 launch.
The Q10 is expected to arrive at all four major US carriers by the end of May for around $250 with a two-year service agreement. The price tag puts it in line with other premium phones, a strategy that William Blair & Co. analyst Anil Doradla believes is targeting business users who are willing to pay more for a handset they believe will boost their productivity.