The Canadian manufacturer’s stock plummeted more than 8% on Friday with the rollout of the much-touted BlackBerry Z10.
Investors on Monday will be watching BlackBerry after the Canadian manufacturer’s stock plummeted more than 8% on Friday with the rollout of the much-touted BlackBerry Z10 smartphone.
The lackluster debut is a blow to BlackBerry’s hope that the new device could help reverse its fortunes in the competitive mobile market.
The Z10 represents a significant shift for BlackBerry, ditching the signature physical keypad for a full touch-screen. The device includes a smart keyboard that suggests words as you type and BlackBerry Balance for creating separate home and work profiles.
The smartphone will be available through AT&T’s wireless network, and on Verizon and T-Mobile next week.
The Z10 arrives as BlackBerry fights an uphill battle to recapture a slice of the smartphone market, dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google Android. As of January, BlackBerry was the third-most popular smartphone platform, with 8% market share, far behind Google (54%) and Apple (34%), according to researcher ComScore.
Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum says the company’s new mobile device could emerge as a “niche mid-range player” in the smartphone market.
In a phone interview with USA TODAY on the eve of the Z10 launch in New York on Friday, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins called the rollout a “major milestone” for the company.
“We did not build a new product; we built a new platform,” he said.
To be sure, BlackBerry has its work cut out. At the same time, BlackBerry 10 has about 100,000 apps, compared with about 700,000 each for Android and iOS.
“They are clearly living in an echo chamber,” said Larry Levy, CEO of Appinions, which analyzes marketing data for Fortune 500 companies. “They are out of the influence circle, behind Apple, Google and Microsoft.”