BlackBerry Says U.K. Sales Surge Past Next-Best Debut

BlackBerry said its new Z10 smartphone was selling almost three times better in the U.K. than any of its previous models in the first week they hit store shelves.

Sales in Canada, which kicked off yesterday, were up by more than 50 percent from any previous introduction, Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins said in an e-mailed statement.

BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion, debuted the new Z10 and Q10 phones last week in the two countries. Heins is seeking to capitalize on positive reviews to kickstart sales in the U.K. and Canada ahead of the Z10’s U.S. release in March.

BlackBerry was little changed at $16.05 at the close in New York trading. The stock has rallied more than 150 percent since late September on optimism that the phones can make the company competitive again with Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy lineup.

Canadian mobile-phone carrier BCE Inc.’s Bell Mobility site has been taking Z10 pre-registration since the beginning of January, and the device topped all BlackBerry orders even before the Jan. 30 unveiling, Mark Langton, a Bell spokesman, has said. Rogers Communications Inc., the country’s largest wireless carrier, said it sold more BlackBerrys yesterday than any other day in Rogers history. “Thousands” of touch-screen Z10s were activated yesterday, the Toronto-based company said in an e-mail.

The Z10 won’t go on sale in the U.S. until March because of lengthier testing by AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless, Heins said yesterday.

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