Hope For BlackBerry: Z10 Off To A Good Start, 50% Of Canadian Customers Are Switchers


BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry’s last hope at competing with Android and iOS, has gotten off to a good start since its release last week. The BlackBerry Z10, the first of two BB10 devices that will launch in the coming months, has seen strong sales in the U.K., while there’s plenty of pre-order interest in other markets, too.

What’s likely to be most encouraging to BlackBerry, however, is that 50% of pre-order customers in its native Canada aren’t already BlackBerry customers — they’re switching from the likes of Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

This is exactly what BlackBerry needs to succeed. Pleasing existing BlackBerry users, who have been clinging onto their aging devices and waiting for BlackBerry’s next move, isn’t good enough — it needs to convince customers to switch, too. And according to one analyst, it’s doing exactly that.

CIBC analyst Todd Coupland revealed in a note to clients that in Canada, “50% of preregistration at the carriers are not currently Blackberry users. This was a surprise and a datapoint that will be watched closely in other regions.”

Not every one of those users will be switching from Android, iOS, or Windows Phone, of course — some might have feature phones, or smartphones powered by other platforms. But nevertheless, this is very promising news for BlackBerry. As long as it has people switching, it’s on the right tracks.

Coupland also had good things to say about the BlackBerry 10 launch events.

“RIM, renamed Blackberry, put on glitz, glamour and yes a little bling with CEO Heins doing a good job introducing BB10,” he said. “The bling of course is Alicia Keys, named Blackberry Creative Director, who plans to be in the office at least for a while. Heins was met with ~1,000 reporters, bloggers, investors, analysts and Blackberry staff. It was a ‘slick’ show which is table steaks [sic] in the maturing and more competitive smart phone market.”

The analyst also noted other positive points for BB10, including support from more than 150 carriers, and support for more than 100,000 apps by the time the Z10 launches in the United States in March.

I actually picked up a BlackBerry Z10 myself, and I’ve been using it almost exclusively for a few days. I’ll be reviewing it from and Android/iOS user’s perspective later this week, so keep an eye out for that.