Orr claims BlackBerry has already answered critics


Company’s UK managing director says firm is back on track as it looks to maintain its position as the UK third biggest smartphone player this year

BlackBerry claims it has proved its doubters wrong, following a “cracking” start to 2013.

The claim was made by the manufacturer’s UK managing director, Rob Orr (pictured), ahead of the launch last week of the firm’s second BB10 handset, the Q10.

Orr told Mobile News that after a recent financial turnaround – which saw a 570 per cent rise in profits in Q4 to $94 million and first-month (January) sales of the Z10 topping one million – the firm is back on track.

He claimed 40 per cent of all Z10 owners in the UK are new to BlackBerry, having switched from rival manufacturers.

Orr said: “When you look back at a year ago and think about what we achieved in the three months since the launch of BlackBerry 10, the message is clear: ‘We’re back’. QWERTY is back, the Q10 is here and we are back as a company.

“Let’s not ignore the scale of the change that we have gone through – completely redesigning the platform and re-engineering the way we do things. This is a momentous undertaking and has never been done before.”

He continued: “Multiple articles have been written about companies who have had a few quarters outside of profitability and can’t recover, but we did. A lot of people didn’t think we could do it, but we knew we could.

“We had a belief, a passion and a drive that powered us forward. We won’t stop – we’ll keep going, keep listening and keep evolving.”

Market share

Orr said BlackBerry’s focus for the remainder of 2013 will be to “cement” its position as the UK’s third biggest manufacturer in terms of sales.

He quoted sales figures from GfK for March, which he said show BlackBerry’s market share stood at just over 10 per cent, putting it behind “the two big elephants”, Samsung and Apple.

Sales of the Q10 will be key, he added.

“We need to focus on that third spot and it’s one I’m confident we’ll maintain throughout the year,” said Orr.

“That’s where the competition is happening at the moment.

“There is huge pent-up demand for the Q10 and I think we will see a few weeks of very good sell-through.”