blackberry 10 launch 2 q10 z10

It’s too soon to write off the company formerly known as Research In Motion completely: BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins said the company expects to sell “tens of millions” of its new BlackBerry Q10, according to Bloomberg.

Heins spoke with Bloomberg Television during the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles. His sales prediction is pretty ambitious given than the Q10 — the first major smartphone in recent memory to have a physical keyboard — only started shipping a few days ago.

The BlackBerry Q10 received pretty good reviews, although its BlackBerry 10 operating system is a bit of a gamble for the company, since it’s brand new and there’s still a very small number of apps available for it. In our review, the BlackBerry Z10, which shipped in February and which also runs BlackBerry 10, looked promising, but its charms faded quickly thanks to the new OS.

“We have very, very good first signs already after the launch in the U.K.,” Heins told Bloomberg. “This is going into the installed base of more than 70 million BlackBerry users, so we have quite some expectations. We expect several tens of million of units.”

Confidence is all that Wall Street needed to send BlackBerry stock up nearly 4 percent to close the day at $15.61, its highest level since March 21.

Photo credit (with Q10 on the right, Z10 on the left): Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

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