RELAX everyone, sales in the US will be just fine
I work for a hedge fund that trades BBRY, so my entire day was spent doing channel checks in NYC. Some of the media reports and forum posts about the lack of lineups, shortage of store signs, and low key product placement are true. However, that's far from saying that sales aren't happening. Every store will have different experiences based on the neighborhood and the particular set of customers it serves.
For today, I checked numerous Best Buy and AT&T locations in midtown and downtown Manhattan, averaging about 15 minutes per store visit. Much like others have posted, Best Buy did not have a strong showing across the board, but it could also be due to the fact that employees are still being trained and they haven't had time to bring out any demo units. The one thing that stood out was the fact that at EVERY AT&T store I visited, there was a customer inquiring about or purchasing a Z10. That tells you right off the bat that inventory is definitely moving at the store - remember, I was only in there for a very short period of time!
ATT (Canal Street): 1 customer, playing with and actively asking about Z10. Did not stay long enough to see if he bought it. Sales rep was well versed on Z10 and able to describe its features.
ATT (8th Street): Sales rep indicated lots of people calling about the Z10, said he sold 4 units and could sell out before end of the day (did not tell me how many he had in stock).
ATT (Union Square): Big advertising sign above the Z10 booth, only ATT store I saw that had it. Sales rep very positive on Z10, actively promoting it to customers. 2 customers took turns playing with it as I walked in. 1 bought it. Did not get a sales figure, but noticed that the accessory shelf with Z10 holsters was down to the last one.
ATT (23rd street): Overheard both sales reps talking about how wonderful the Z10 was. They told me sales at their store were strong today. As I was chatting one lone customer walked in, went straight to the Z10 and bought it within 5 minutes.
Best Buy (Houston Street): Salespeople (unsolicited) overheard discussing how great the Z10 was, and one said it was her new favorite phone. No demo as reported.
Best Buy (Union Square): Dummy units in place, no advertising or demo available. Salespeople were knowledgeable but not enthusiastic.
Best Buy (23rd Street): Easily the worst experience on this list. Salesperson was an idi0t and didn't make an effort to help with any customer's inquiries - so it's not just a Blackberry slant. No demo as well.
I'll be doing more checks in the coming weeks as Verizon and T-mobile launch, but given my observations I would say level of interest so far is on par with what I expected. For whatever reason people expect to see massive hype around the Z10 launch, anything else and it's a failure. Anyone thinking the Z10 would just take over in the US is out of their mind - it's not going to happen. This is a niche product that caters to a specific crowd, and that's not a bad thing. Even with just Blackberry fans and a small percentage of iOS/Android users switching, they could easily do 1mm per quarter in sales here.
So that's my contribution for now, would love to hear more anecdotes from others as it help me do my job.
- CrackBerry Genius
03-23-13, 04:26 AM #3
- 2,291 Posts
thanks for the info, atleast some are puttign in the time to actually pay attention, not just go into a few stores and not see a line up 2 miles long like they see with the iPhone releases.
not many realise that for sales to be good there don't need to be lines, steady sales is the way the Samsung topped out on the most bought. alot of the iPhone sales are made at the beginning by fans looking to have the latest and greatest iPhone, they are simply just drones, but at this comment i gues any fan of a product could be considered a drone
- CrackBerry Master
03-23-13, 05:49 AM #5
- 1,277 Posts
Thanks for a sensible post and one that actually contains some market research. It is nice to read something that doesn't boarder on the silly and the hysterical.
Just a few comments. I don't think your US store experience is any different from Canada. There are some stores where advertising is clearly evident and others where it isn't. My personal view is that it all depends on the size of the store front and the local clients. Likewise, as I shop around for my Z10, some sale people have been highly enthusiastic and others have grumbled at the thought of selling you one. You can provide training but people are human and they do express their opinion. I don't think we are breaking new ground here.
I have always thought that the Z10 will do reasonably well in the US. It is a high quality phone that is unique and which provides users with a new user experience. One thing you can depend on with Americans is they embrace the new and like to be different. However, It would be naive to the extreme to think that Americans would just drop their iPhone and flock on mass to the Z10. I don't think that crackberry community really thought this would happen. This seems to be one of those straw arguments that the uniformed and the BB haters flog from time to time as presumed evidence of failure.
Having seen the Z10 launch now in several countries, there has been a consistent pattern to reporting and the blogging from the Debbie downer crowd. First, they deny that sales are going better than expected. The telegraph's article in England and that comical piece written by the NYT's Canada reporter come to mind. They are usually debunked in a day or two so they then move onto plan B "its just BB fans buying the Z10 and sales will fall off in a couple of weeks". Well interesting enough, sales have remained strong and appear to be accelerating over time. Further the platform is picking up a healthy portion of Apple and Android users. So then it is onto plan C, "it doesn't sell as well as the iPhone". On this point, I agree but then again I never expected it would. Did anybody?
When it comes to BB, their appears to be a general correlation between the sloppiness of media reporting and the arrival of an new launch date. This week was no different. First, there was that truly bizarre article from Charles Arthur in the Guardian who claimed that the Z10 had been rejected by the British for governmental use. A statement later that day from CEGS stated that they hadn't actually started the testing. Both Mr Arthur and his confidential source appeared to have no idea of the British certification process. The article was eventually retracted but only when the threat of a journalistic inquiry was held over the reporter's head. Next, it was onto the mom-and-pop investment house making claims as to preorder sales. The research note bordered on the hysterical and lacked any sense of objectivity. It read like some sort of screed from a iPhone blog site. Of course, a few hours later, the head of Best Buy's mobile services said presales were strong and boarder on being iconic for BB. Then, there is the pretend reviews by reporters (hello CNN) who appear to simply cut and paste comments from the Internet. Man, talk about lazy. I don't live with the impression that reporting is perfect but the magnitude of the errors are becoming too large to ignore.
Anyways, the Z10 will truck along and it will attract its audience and core supporters in the US. My impression is that sales will accelerate by word of mouth as we have seen in other countries. If it wasn't a good product, people wouldn't be talking about it.
- 03-23-13, 05:50 AM #6
BlackBerry has been the whipping boy of smartphones in the U.S for some time now.
It won't change over night and if anyone expected it,you may just be a little CraZy.
As said above,as more folks actually see it and use it, the word will get around that BlackBerry has totally reinvented itself and the tides will begin to turn in the U.S
Its an uphill battle but the good news is BlackBerry10 is a well oiled machine and should eventually make it to the top.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Sent from using Tapatalk
- CrackBerry Genius
03-23-13, 06:17 AM #7
- 1,534 Posts
although your headline seems to be reasuring.saying that u expect sales to be about 1 million per quarter is EXTREMELY BEARISH .Morgan Stanley on the other hand predicts sales of 36 million for the year,9 million per quarter .so your article is not very relaxing at all.given the us accounts for about 20% of bb's world wide sales 2 million per Quarter wld be more realistic
Last edited by jojo beaconsfield; 03-23-13 at 06:56 AM.
- 03-23-13, 06:22 AM #8
i was at best buy in union square at midnight with crackberry at z10 launch in usa.
i got to finally meet the guys from crackberry who had gotten me into blackberry!
in fact im in the background in the video interview.
there was a crowd of interested shoppers looking at the z10.
there were z10 demos that were great.
i discovered the z10 can change its virtual keyboard to a keyboard in another language like hebrew or arabic.
it will get even better when q10 comes out.
Sent from my BlackBerry 9810 using Tapatalk
- 03-23-13, 07:19 AM #9
As I have been saying for the last year, Blackberry will have to fight for its come back. They abused a lot of its users in the past year with hardware problems. It will be a longer haul to claw their way back into market relevance.
I visited two AT&T stores and there was a complete lack of any advertising or fanfare. The Z10 sat quietly in the corner with the few other Blackberry products in the corner of the store. It was one of the "softest" hardware introductions I have ever seen. At 2pm an AT&T friend told me that they had sold one out of eight units they had in stock. They also said there was no official training other than a few minutes to basically show how to install the battery and SIM card.
- CrackBerry User
03-23-13, 08:04 AM #10
- 24 Posts
Be patient. Even in Canada there were no line ups and yet Blackberry sold the largest number of phones at launch ever. Same thing will happen in the States. The word will get around. NO it is not an iphone and really doesn't matter. A Lamborgini is a better car than a Ford Focus and sells less of them. As long as it sells enough to keep the company on its feet. Thats all that matters. And from what I've heard, this company is going no where. They are just getting warmed up for bigger and greater things to come. Blackberry will with the QNX operating system will be number one, but it wont happen over night. Blackberry has the ability to grow. THAT IS KEY. Unlike the other companies out there.
- 03-23-13, 10:04 AM #13
In another sense, selling 12 million or 20 million (some seem to think it needs to be closer to 20 mil) in an overall market sense, is catastophic. I had said before launch, that BB needs a much bigger result to continue on in a manner siimilar to the way it now - something of a player in the market...admittedly, it has been running of reputation in NA, not actual sales, but there was still the expectation in some, and certainly the possibility, that BB10 could turn things around.
When you look back at the forum a few months ago, many were predicting BB to go to #1, (actually some were saying this during the last month), that BB was going to overtake Samsung and Apple, that BB was going to revolutionize everything and take-over. I think, and this is a great thing, expectations have been heavily dampened and are more realistic now, so many really are just hoping for "break even / make a little profit / beat winphone" .
Looking though at the long-term health of the company, and the ability to truly compete, I think they need well upwards of 50 mil sales this year....at the least...to make them what I would call a "strong" 3rd. With say, 60 mil, they would still be dwarfed by Samsung, Apple, but they would have enough marketshare, and enough profit to make people consider them. 20 mil. will put them at about what Motorola sold last year.....and Motorola need not worry about developing future iterations of Android, or about attracting developers. People won't like this, but to put it bluntly, if they come in at 15 mil.....they are screwed. Period. They will effectively have been completely marginalized with the hope of the big-turnaround gone. That kind of position can be tenable in some industries...not generally in consumer tech....
- 03-23-13, 10:18 AM #14
- CrackBerry User
03-23-13, 10:33 AM #16
- 88 Posts
Thanks very much, keep the info coming and it is great to hear that someone is doing the leg work. I think the new Blackberry is a different user experience, so it will take time to pick up steam, but it is very encouraging to hear that units are moving - which is all that really counts. This whole business that because there were no lineups, BB10 will fail is just ridiculous... there are numerous reasons why there were lineups with iPhone and I didn't really expect to see lineups with Blackberry 10. Don't anyone forget, after every iPhone launch, Apple shares went dramatically down because it is just impossible to meet the expectations set out by analysts.
- 03-23-13, 10:39 AM #17
The US is going to take time, years in fact. One man’s fine is another’s catastrophe and that is the way it is.
So long as the company can continue to operate, innovate and build on the new platform I think can be considered a win at early stages. This is but the first of several devices to be launched and I think no can declare victory or defeat until minimum third quarter fiscal 2015...the real numbers won’t be available until then. I do agree with Richardat the 50mil total sales once all devices are launched should be the benchmark. (see, we can agree on something ) I also think it’s easily attainable for BB.
Last edited by David Fu; 03-23-13 at 11:47 AM.
- 03-23-13, 11:48 AM #22
Last edited by sf49ers; 03-23-13 at 12:40 PM.
- CrackBerry Addict
03-23-13, 11:49 AM #23
- 548 Posts
To put things in perspective, the Galaxy S3 has sold about 30-40mm units to date.
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