BlackBerry production slashed by another 10% as Q5 splutters in Canada

BlackBerry appears to have cut smartphone production further, with weak demand for its new Q5 smartphone and interest overseas eroding, according to reports.

Canada’s The Globe and Mail reports the embattled smartphone giant appears to have cut production by 10%, having already cut production in half last month.

Meanwhile, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek says there is only “very modest” demand for the Q5, a low-cost version of the company’s Q10 smartphone, which the company released just one day after the company was put on the market.

According to Misek, demand for the Q5 is even weaker than the demand for the company’s flagship Q10 and Z10 smartphones earlier this year.

“After the Wednesday, Aug. 14 launch of the Q5 in Canada, we contacted dozens of Canada carrier stores (Telus and Bell) and also [tech category killer] Future Shop. Our survey indicates very modest demand across the three different stores and different cities.

“Most stores indicated that it was a soft launch, and not a big event like the launch of the Z10 and the Q10. Most stores did not receive a large amount and some had not sold any. A few stores, particularly Future Shop locations, have not yet received any Q5 devices.”

Compounding the issues for the company is a new report from Juniper Research, which suggests demand in BlackBerry’s traditional emerging market strongholds is weakening.

“Even in traditional strongholds such as South Africa and Indonesia, competition is increasing as other smartphone vendors attempt to seek out new growth areas,” report author Michael Wiggins says.

“So although BlackBerry will continue to be a global player, being represented in most markets, they will experience a diminishing market share.”

Last week, the troubled Canadian tech company was officially put up for a sale with a five-member committee formed to evaluate options, with the company’s largest shareholder, Prem Watsa, standing down from the board of directors.

Watsa and Canada Pension Plan Board are believed to be interested in taking the company private, as SmartCompany reported last week.


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