BlackBerry Z10 “isn’t a comeback phone”

BlackBerry must widen its smartphone range beyond the Z10 to include more budget devices if it wants to recoup market share, according to one analyst.

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry’s market share by OS has continued to slide in the UK despite the arrival of the Z10 running BlackBerry 10, slipping from 5.8% in the three months to the end of January to 5.1% to the three months ending February, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. That’s down from 16.8% in the same period in 2012.

While those figures only reflect a month’s worth of Z10 sales in the UK, it doesn’t bode well for BlackBerry, which is pinning its comeback on its latest OS.

Top UK OSes

The top OSes in the UK by smartphone sales are:

– Android (58.3%)

– iOS (29%)

– Windows (6.7%)

– BlackBerry (5.1%)

“The launch of the BlackBerry Z10 has not resulted in an immediate turnaround for the Canadian company in Great Britain,” said Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at the analyst firm. “Although the new model received great reviews, it’s going to take time for BlackBerry to see share gains. Consumers just don’t have the same levels of pent up demand for the handset as they did for the iPhone 5.”

He noted that BlackBerry’s older, budget devices have been its top sellers over the past few years – especially to younger users. Indeed, in its latest results, BlackBerry said it had shipped one million Z10 handsets, but five million BlackBerry 7 models.

“The Z10 is a high-end handset with a price to match, so going after its existing base of consumers will require a significant trade up,” Sunnebo added. “The handset is likely to start selling in more serious numbers once the launch price falls, and BlackBerry 10 in general, when the the range is padded out with a number of wallet-friendly mid-range offerings.”

While that isn’t good news for the prospects of keeping higher margins on the Z10, BlackBerry is planning to widen its range of handsets running the new OS, extending it to mid-priced and budget models later this year, the company said last week.

LG and Windows success

The Kantar figures make better reading for rival smartphone firms. The Nexus 4 has seen LG “coming back to life”, Kantar said, with the smartphone maker grabbing 4.3% of the UK market. The analyst firm said that growth was “almost solely driven by the Google branded Nexus 4“.

“Over the past few months, there have been signs of a more competitive manufacturer dynamic,” added Sunnebo. “LG’s share of the market has grown by 4% year on year and HTC’s share (9.1%) is beginning to edge up again – its refreshed HTC One X and HTC 8S are selling well, confirming its position as the third largest smartphone manufacturer in Great Britain.”

Windows Phone posted a gain from 6.2% to 6.7%, which Kantar said was “driven by its Windows 8 devices appealing to consumers, rather than sales of older Windows 7 models on promotion, which is good news for margins”.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos