BlackBerry Shares Continue to Slide Despite BB10 Reveal
Investors are spooked over the lukewarm reviews and uncertain release dates.
Reuters reports that BlackBerry shares continue to slide despite revealing the new BlackBerry 10 OS and related devices on Wednesday. This decline is fueled by a flood of "lukewarm" reviews, signaling that the company's struggle to gain momentum in a "hyper-competitive" smartphone market is just the beginning.
According to the report, BlackBerry's shares fell 12-percent on Wednesday, and then almost 10-percent on Thursday. Investors are reportedly spooked by reviews and a later-than-expected yet still unspecified launch date of the two announced BlackBerry 10 phones. Analysts have cut their price targets and forecasts, Reuters said.
BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion (or RIM), is looking to make a big splash with consumers this weekend through a Super Bowl ad promoting the upcoming Z10 touch-screen device. But the device isn't launching in the States until sometime around March due to carriers needing more time to test the phone on their networks. Thus consumers will likely have forgotten about the expensive ad by the time the smartphone finally shows up on the market.
Even more, TD Securities analyst Scott Penner pointed out that buzz surrounding the BlackBerry Z10 may be stifled somewhat thanks to Samsung's Galaxy IV device announcement. Also working against BlackBerry is whatever surprises Mobile World Congress 2013 has in store when it kicks off on February 25.
Another problem BlackBerry faces is the release of the QWERTY version of its Z10, the BlackBerry Q10 smartphone. As it stands now, there are no BlackBerry 10 devices on the market. The company plans to launch the Z10 sometime around March, and the Q10 is slated to arrive sometime around April. Like the former device, BlackBerry hasn't set an actual street date for the Q10 phone.
That said, BlackBerry could still lose traction in a growing market full of Android, Windows Phone and iPhone devices as the company slowly rolls out a mere two devices before the end of 2Q13. In the near-term, this could pose as a problem for investors.
"While later-than-expected availability of the Z10 and Q10 devices shouldn't impact the longer-term potential success of the BB10 platform, we believe it does mitigate one of the near-term catalysts for the stock," said Paradigm Capital analyst Gabriel Leung.