BlackBerry Sales: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Because BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) new Z10 smartphone will not be released in the United States until mid-March, the phone’s sales figures in the United Kingdom and in Canada are being closely watched by analysts.

The importance of this phone’s sales, and that of its Q10 counterpart, for the future of BlackBerry is evident. Before the company’s unveiling of its BlackBerry 10 operating system last Wednesday, it hadn’t put a new product on the market in more than 18 months, and in that same time frame, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has released multiple iterations of the iPhone and while seemingly every other smartphone competitor worth its salt has released at least a couple new Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android devices. Apple and Google have together amassed a huge share of the smartphone market, making BlackBerry’s slog back to the top a difficult proposition.

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But what will actually determine whether BlackBerry’s new phones are a success is hard to say. Its success certainly cannot be defined as the moment when its share of the U.S. market surpasses that of Apple. But the phone could be seen as successful depending on the number of units sold, or how much revenue it posts in the upcoming quarters, or how well it competes against Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) Lumia, the most popular Windows Phone on the market (Microsoft is currently the #3 smartphone OS after bumping BlackBerry to fourth). Only time will tell if the the Z10 can boost BlackBerry’s profitability…