Research in Motion Ltd. (BBRY): Sellouts, Supply vs. Demand?

BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY), a k a Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) is perhaps putting its future on the line with its new BlackBerry 10 operating system. As the Z10 devices were due to launch in the U.K. last week, BlackBerry has been hopeful that it could become a player in the smartphone battle, after being a dominant company in the personal-digital-assistant market ways back at the start of the last decade.  As some initial reports came out from the U.K. that several retail stores  had sold out of their initial inventories of the z10, that began some speculation that BlackBerry may be making a winner with its new OS, which has gotten some positive reviews.

But are the sellouts based on higher-than-expected demand, or lower-than-needed supply?

800px-BlackberryAs a result of the early reports from the U.K., Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY)/BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) shares spiked over the last few days to clear $16 per share. However, there is an analyst report Wednesday that seems to suggest that the sellout talk may not have been necessarily about great demand and instead constrained supply.

Michael Walkley an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, wrote in a research note this week that the initial sales reports just might be more tepid than initial reports suggested. “Limited initial supply was cited as the reason for early post-launch stock-outs at some carrier stores versus overwhelming demand. … While we are impressed with the features of the new BB10 OS and Z10 smartphone, we believe BlackBerry has only closed the gap with more mature smartphone OS platforms and offers limited differentiating services or features to win back customers from more mature ecosystems.”

Walkley went on to say that his reserch of retailer supply in the U.K. suggested that many retailers were furnished with no more than 15 units at the intial launch, with some retailers selling out in a couple days.

Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) CEO Thorstein Heins said his Z10 smartphone is expeced to launch in the U.S. in mid-March, though he says it’s because of stiffer testing standards – he’d rather it be ready sooner.

What do you think? Do you have interest in the new BB10 operating system? Do you think Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY)/BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) can make a comeback and remain a viable tech company in places outside of emerging or new markets? We’d like your thoughts in the comments section below.

DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.

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