BlackBerry shares drop more than eight per cent two weeks after Z10 launch
Shares of BlackBerry dropped more than eight per cent Wednesday two weeks after the BlackBerry Z10 launch.
BlackBerry saw shares decline $1.25 to close at $14 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, amid widespread weakness in the information technology sector.
The company’s stock has fallen 21 per cent from the height it reached in late January before the new BlackBerrys were unveiled at a much-hyped event that was simulcast to various cities around the world.
Several analysts have expressed concerns about the slow launch of the new devices, which first rolled out in the U.K. and Canada with the touchscreen BlackBerry Z10. The United States won’t get the touchscreen model until next month.
Much of the concern involved the staggered release of the BlackBerry Q10, a more traditional keypad version of the smartphone that won’t hit stores until at least April.
“The consumer products market requires fast innovation cycles,” said National Bank analyst Kris Thompson in a note.
“BlackBerry has not proven the ability to launch products fast enough to compete any longer.”
Thompson also addressed concerns with the lack of clarity for BlackBerry’s new service revenue model. In December, BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins suggested the lucrative service fees charged to BlackBerry subscribers for its secure network won’t necessarily be a priority for the company anymore.
BlackBerry plans to launch an a la carte menu of services where both enterprise customers and casual smartphone users can pick their packages, ranging from a “platinum package” that covers all of the security features offered today to more stripped back packages that would focus less on security and more basic email services.
Details of the changes have not been disclosed, and Thompson said BlackBerry needs to bring an end to the “mystery.”
“Investors need to understand how that revenue line could decay over the next several years,” he said. “Without such information, investor judgement is severely impaired.”