BlackBerry launches Z10 in India amid claims of poor sales

The fruit-themed smartphone maker launches its Z10 in India, just as Nokia launches its own smartphone in China. Can you work out why? (Hint: analysts say Z10 sales are struggling only a month in.)

BlackBerry Z10 launches in India. Another final gasp of air in an emerging, burgeoning market? (Credit: CNET)

BlackBerry has launched its latest Z10 smartphone in India, the up and coming enterprise powerhouse, the Canadian phone maker said today.

But the news comes at the same time that two industry analysts suggest that sales in BlackBerry's latest smartphone platform have been slow, bordering on abysmal.

According to The Guardian, both Cannacord Genuity and Pacific Crest analysts have cut their estimates for the number of smartphones sold through retailers after speaking to sources in both stores and the upstream supply chain. 

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Pacific Crest said that "any benefit from the Z10 is likely to be at least partly offset by cannibalisation of [BlackBerry] Bold 9900 sales," pegging between 1 million to 1.5 million Z10 smartphones will be shipped—not sold—by the end of the fiscal year, compared to 3 million to 4 million. 

The worst case scenario, the analysts say, is that BlackBerry may have sold just 300,000 new Z10 smartphones, which could put the company in deeper trouble after investing its last-ditch attempt to stave off drowning in the mobile market place in the platform.

Only today, similarly beleaguered phone maker Nokia announced it would aggressively target China and Asia markets with a mid-to-high end Windows Phone 8-powered Lumia 720, along with two feature phones to fill the lower-end of the market. 

Do you see a pattern emerging? For both BlackBerry and Nokia, it's all in or get out. 

While Nokia targets China, BlackBerry heads up India, a place it has invested heavily. The company recently folded to Indian government requests and  set up a PIN-sharing agreement with authorities . In a bid to cut crime and the ongoing threat of terrorism, BlackBerry had to play ball with the country in order to keep its strong (albeit modest) presence in the country, which has a booming population of business users.

The BlackBerry maker finally gave in to pressure amid pressure from the Indian government and built back-end infrastructure and data servers in Mumbai in 2011 .

(via The Guardian)