Some CIOs told Computerworld that the BlackBerry Balance and the security features of BES 10 when working with the Z10 might not matter, especially if their workers, who are allowed to buy their own smartphones under Bring Your Own Device policies, don't buy the Z10 or its Q10 cousin with a qwerty keyboard.
Sprint has said it will carry the Q10, but not the Z10, even though BlackBerry officials originally said all four major U.S. carriers would carry the Z10 by mid-March. Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA have not announced a launch date or pricing. AT&T did not say whether it would carry the Q10.
Llamas said the fate of the Z10 in the U.S. is hard to predict, since marketing of the device hasn't been revealed. The U.S. market is considered vitally important to BlackBerry.
Llamas said there is a chance that the Z10 could be a "wildfire success or could struggle" depending on how marketing goes.
"Here it is already mid-March and the only marketing of the Z10 was the BlackBerry 10 SuperBowl ad that didn't win over a lot of people," Llamas said. "My hope is that BlackBerry is going to pour it on, marketing the new user interface and highlight features such as peek and flow. BlackBerry has probably trained the carriers' salespeople well. I cannot anticipate that BlackBerry will release the Z10 with minimal marketing."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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