Verizon's Z10 sales giving BlackBerry a boost, according to Chitika

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BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) has not yet detailed U.S. sales figures for its flagship Z10 smartphone, let alone broken it down by carrier, but according to online advertising network Chitika, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is giving the Z10 a major boost.

In the United States, AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) started selling the BlackBerry 10-based device on March 22 for $199.99 with a two-year contract, the same price as Verizon, which started selling the Z10 March 28. T-Mobile USA also started selling the Z10 in late March, and currently offers the phone for $99 under its new no-contract model. The device went on sale Feb. 5 in Canada.

Chitika Insights conducted a study examining the BlackBerry Z10's impact on North American BlackBerry Web usage in the days since its release. To quantify its study, Chitika examined a sample of tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian mobile ad impressions from its Chitika Ad Network observed in the 65 days following the respective launches of the Z10 and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5.

According to the study, on March 21, just ahead of AT&T's launch of the Z10, the device accounted for just 2.7 percent of all BlackBerry traffic monitored by Chitika. However, after AT&T and T-Mobile started selling the Z10, the figure rose to 2.9 percent.

Verizon's launch for the Z10 is what set things on fire, relatively. According to Chitika, the amount of traffic driven by the Z10 rose in the weeks after Verizon's launch and accounted for 5.3 percent of North American BlackBerry traffic as of April 11.


Chitika shows sales of the BlackBerry Z10 vs. iPhone 5.

Analysts have said that sales of the Z10 have so far been tepid in the United States. The Z10 first went on sale Jan. 31 in the United Kingdom and sales have since expanded to more than 60 carriers across 40 countries, including Canada and in Europe and Asia.

"BlackBerry 10's relatively steady rate of growth in terms of the BlackBerry ecosystem is a likely indicator that the company's new operating system and hardware are not being rapidly adopted by BlackBerry's existing user base," Chitika said. "However, the Verizon launch seems to have slightly accelerated its growth, and the keyboard centric Q10 model, due to be released later this year, may appeal to long-standing BlackBerry users who value the tactile feedback of a physical keyboard. Additionally, promotional efforts on the part of the carriers, which were seen as lackluster on launch day, but have improved recently, could help boost BlackBerry 10's long-term prospects."

Indeed, according to Engadget, the Qwerty Q10 recently passed through certification with the FCC. Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) has confirmed it will launch the Q10 sometime this spring, though it has not given a precise timeframe.

For more:
- see this Chitika post
- see this NYT article
- see this Engadget article

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