BlackBerry steals share from Google and Android

Posted by Nick Farrell

It is starting to look like the new Blackberry Z10 is clawing back customers that RIM lost to Apple and Samsung.

A recent note by RBC Capital markets, shows 45 percent of those buying Z10s converted from the iPhone and Android.

Blackberry had managed to reach beyond its "loyalists," with 45 percent of Z10 users coming from iPhone or Android, the report said.

This is despite the fact that BlackBerry is still playing catch up in terms of its app store.

The large number of 'coming soon' apps such as Skype is a lingering annoyance for users but hopefully will be short-lived and resolved before full availability in the US, the report said.

Netflix does not have plans to develop an app for BlackBerry 10 and other developers seem "too busy" with Android and Apple, the report warned.

However it does look like BlackBerry's fourth quarter sell-through rate will come in stronger than expected.

This does not take much, given that most analysts had a low expectation of Blackberry's chances, but the fact that it seems to be taking customers away from Apple and Samsung will have caught a few observers by surprise.

Many thought that RIM was daft putting all its eggs in one basket for a last roll of the dice, but it appears to have paid off.

RBC's research team thinks BlackBerry will deliver 500,000 units in the February quarter, up from their previous estimate of 350,000. For the May quarter, they've maintained their two million-unit estimate. BlackBerry indicated sell-through was 40 per cent above its low projections.

There were some concerns that the company might suffer from supply chain constraints, but BlackBerry has managed a substantially wider breadth of launch than Wall Street had expected, covering approximately 35 per cent of its subscriber base.

In India, the new Z10s sold out in two days, while in the UK, it ranks number 5 on large European retailer Carphone Warehouse's top 10 monthly phones.

Much depends on its take up in the US market, but there seems to be a solid enterprise demand for the phone, RBC said.

Also positive for the company is that demand for its legacy devices hasn't eroded. RBC expects the company to ship 6.3 million legacy units in the February quarter.

RBC says it's still too early to gauge US demand indeed it might have a job in Canada and the UK keeping up the momentum.  The launch of Samsung's new Galaxy S4 could will be problematic for BlackBerry unless users look at that chip.