Here’s Why Today is Make-or-Break for BlackBerry

It’s an auspicious day in BlackBerry’s (NASDAQ:BBRY) long history. After months of delay, the Z10 — one of the company’s new flagship phones — has gone on sale in the United States.

It’s the moment that industry observers have all been waiting for, but the waiting period isn’t actually over yet. BlackBerry will release earnings on March 28, but the report will be too close to the U.S. launch date to provide meaningful information about how the device is performing. Speculation is sure to be rampant, but diligent investors will need to wait until the next quarter to get a respectably complete picture.

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That said, the device has been on sale for several weeks in other key markets like the United Kingdom and Canada. Performance and reception in those regions has been overall positive, and the good mojo is expected to carry into the bellwether U.S. market.

Gartner analyst Van Baker summed up the situation pretty succinctly when he said, “They’ve got an attractive device and a good operating system, but ultimately for them to succeed, they’ve got to get some excitement and buzz in the consumer segment again and it’s an open question whether they can do that. I don’t think they have any chance of getting back to where they were, but if they can get 5-6 percent market share, ultimately that’s a successful business model for them.”