Demand For The New BlackBerry Phone Appears To Be Weak In The US

blackberry alicia keys and CEO Thorsten HeinsBlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins with Alicia Keys.

BlackBerry’s new phone, the Z10, launched in one of the most important and influential markets Friday: the US.

But despite a glitzy launch event in New York Thursday night, early reports suggest demand for the new phone is pretty weak in the US. The Z10 is only available on AT&T for now, but Verizon and T-Mobile will begin selling the phone next week. Best Buy also sells the Z10.

WSJ reports several AT&T retail locations in Manhattan and San Francisco were empty on Friday and some stores didn’t even have the Z10 on display yet.

BlackBerry’s stock took a dive Friday too. It was down nearly 8% when the market closed.

Hudson Square Research analyst Daniel Ernst told Reuters, “This morning we visited and called stores to survey early demand for the BlackBerry Z10. We found no lines, no signage announcing the launch, and clerks told us they had very few pre-orders.”

The BlackBerry Z10 is the first phone to run the company’s new mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10. BB10 has been delayed several times during the last year, and it didn’t officially debut until late January. 

Early reviews of the Z10 were pretty good, but many criticised BlackBerry for waiting so long to release a device as good as the iPhone and top-tier Android devices. 

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