BlackBerry Z10 to sell millions fewer in US than predicted: report

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Z10, the first BlackBerry to run the new BB10 operating system, is likely to be sold millions fewer in the United States than predicted, according to reports.

These claims are based on checks of pre-orders by investment research firm Detwiler Fenton and Co, which said consumer pre-orders for the Z10 were well 'below expectations'.

Nearly two months after its formal unveiling, BlackBerry's new Z10 smartphone finally went on sale in the hyper-competitive US market on Friday, where its performance may well decide whether BlackBerry can reestablish itself as an industry leader.

BlackBerry, which is already selling the new touch-screen smartphone in about 25 countries, aims to make the Z10's new operating system the clear No. 3 platform on the market, a realistic but still difficult challenge, analysts say.

BlackBerry once ruled the US smartphone market, but it has fallen badly in recent years as devices powered by Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems dominate sales both in North America and overseas.

The BlackBerry 10 operating system will now slug it out with Microsoft's Windows 8 platform to secure the No. 3 spot in the market.

BlackBerry has yet to release hard numbers on initial sales of the Z10 in major markets such as Britain and Canada, where it went on sales soon after the introduction.

The BlackBerry Q10 model, which has a traditional physical keyboard that's likely to appeal to professionals who are heavy email users, is expected to go on sale next month. It won't reach U.S. store shelves until May or June. The company also plans to launch lower-end versions of the devices this year.

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