Retailers and telco operators [in the UAE] are witnessing a strong demand for BlackBerry’s new flagship device – Z10  – which went on sale late on Sunday across major outlets.
“Only a handful picked up the device on Sunday and we are seeing a strong demand today and that is expected to stay for a while,” Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s Group of companies, told Gulf News.
He said many people want to change their devices and supply “will be a major challenge” for the retailer right now.
“Sunday’s sales were completely over the counter. The pre-booked customers only took the device today,” said Nadeem Khanzadah, Head of Retail at Jumbo Electronics.
He said the demand is set to be strong and February is going to be a good month for BlackBerry.
“With Q10 coming out in April with an expected price tag of Dh1,999 ($550), it will further attract loyal BlackBerry customers to the new device,” he said.
BlackBerry  will be launching six models this year — full-touch and Qwerty models.
“As expected, the uptake of pre-booked devices has been rapid and very strong. A combination of SMS shots, personal calls and home-deliveries has ensured that those eager to get their hands on the Z10 have been able to do so in the most convenient, timely manner possible,” said Faisal Abdul Aziz Al Bannai, Axiom’s CEO.
Axiom is offering discounts of up to Dh800 ($220) for customers wishing to trade-in their BlackBerry Bold 9900 for the new BlackBerry Z10.
Both the telco operators are offering special data packages to lure customers.
“The response to the launch of BlackBerry’s new smartphone has been very encouraging — surpassing all previous records. Business and personal users have shown a strong interest in both the new platform and the device, which offers a perfect balance between work and personal life,” Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Marketing Officer of Etisalat said in a statement.
By Naushad K. Cherrayil