Orders for RIM’s flagship BB10 touchscreen smartphone are lower than the manufacturer expected, with operators and retailers taking a cautious stand, industry sources claim.
Both are keen to see a challenger emerge to Apple and Samsung, but they are not willing to bank roll the process.
The volume of orders for the Blackberry Z10, due to be launched today, are described as ‘disappointing’ and ‘neutral’ according to sources in the retail and distribution sectors.
Operators EE, O2, Vodafone and Three have all confirmed they will be stocking the manufacturer's forthcoming BB10 devices, along with Phones 4u and Carphone Warehouse. However industry sources say they are hedging their bets, taking a ‘wait and see’ approach which is reflected in order levels.
Some sources say the lower-than-expected volume levels are attributed to operator and retailer caution following poor sales of RIM’s earlier touchscreen smartphones – the Blackberry Storm and the Blackberry Torch.
One distribution source said: ‘The Qwerty is the best one and the touchscreen is OK with a decent response but there is early doubt there because everytime RIM has brought out a touchscreen it has disappointed, so there is still that doubt and so there is caution.’
A retailer said: Orders are OK but not as big as they expected. RIM are not getting the volume of orders from the operators or the retailers that they hoped for.’
Another retail source said: ‘We have been fairly neutral in our approach to orders, neither aggressive nor overly cautious. It is a difficult market with a lot of competition.’
A rival manufacturer said: ‘There is a problem with the order levels. The word ‘huge’ is not being used.’
He added: ‘It’s a gamble. They are repositioning their whole sales operation to target the high end business user rather than the youth market and launching a new OS. They have a long road infront of them and the market is very crowded.’
Photo is of a suspected leak of the two flagship products RIM will announce and is from Crackberry.com