BlackBerry Falls on Day of U.S. Debut Amid Sales Concerns

BlackBerry, which is releasing its new Z10 phone in the U.S. today, tumbled the most in more than a month in New York trading after analysts raised concerns that the devices are getting a lukewarm response.

The shares fell 7.7 percent to $14.91, the biggest drop since Feb. 13. Before today’s drop, the stock had climbed 36 percent this year, lifted by optimism that the company’s new lineup will fuel a turnaround.

Ahead of the Z10’s U.S. debut, Deutsche Bank AG analyst checked inventory in the U.K. and Canada, where the phone is already available. The findings suggest that sales have been slow and store employees aren’t promoting the devices, the firm said in a report.

“We contacted 60 stores in total and not one was sold out,” Deutsche Bank said in the report. “In Canada, only a few recommended the Z10 unsolicited.”

At an AT&T Inc. store in midtown Manhattan this morning, there were no lines of shoppers waiting for the new BlackBerry or signage promoting the release. Most buyers of the phone will probably be corporate customers, rather than consumers, said Jorge Garcia, a sales representative at the shop on Lexington Avenue.

“Most of the corporate clients are asking for BlackBerrys,” said Garcia, who expects about 90 percent of the new phone’s sales to come from those customers, with 10 percent coming from walk-in shoppers. He said he wasn’t expecting to get many units of the Z10.

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