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BlackBerry Z10: A Goldmine or a Blind Alley? – Too Soon to Say

BlackBerry (formerly known as Research In Motion) is on a steep hill, and there is much conflicting data whether their new BB10 platform is managing to penetrate the market. Along with the platform, they recently announced two new devices: Z10 that is the touchscreen-only variant, and Q10 with that characteristic BB keyboard.

It is still too early for some tangible results, of course, but there are some initial reports that quote Amazon listings and they are not showing much optimism: The Z10 has not made it in to the top 100 of the AT&T bestselling smartphones. To make things worse, BlackBerry Torch 4G 9810 set itself on the 19th spot, BlackBerry Torch 9800 is on 25th, BlackBerry Bold 9900 on 36th, and so forth. Other reports actually quote that BlackBerry is doing much better in distant parts of the world ? Z10 was apparently sold out in India within only 48 hours.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins admitted that the company even had the idea to put their own services onto competing platforms (Windows Phone and Android in particular) in order to keep in touch with the market, but they gave up on it, as they did not share his vision of a ?mobile computing? future. ?Android and Windows Phone are not mobile computing platforms,? he said in a recent interview with ComputerWorld Australia. Simultaneously with the launch of new devices, the company is trying to embrace the wave of ?bring your own device? trend (BYOD) in order to regain what was lost ? customers. Policy changes and general plans seem to have really changed, but the question remains if it is simply too late.

The Canadian phone maker recently announced they received an order for one million of their Z10 smartphones ? but they never disclosed who it might be. Both AT&T and Verizon should offer the device for $200 on a two-year contract, and both of them could have been the customers of such a significant number of units. Significant – for a start. Combined with a recent report of the ecosystem crossing the 100,000 app milestone, it would be somewhat unfair to exclude the BlackBerry completely from the game, for now.