BlackBerry shares fall as hype over smartphone launch wears off
A man inspects a new BlackBerry device after listening to BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins speak to guests at the The Empire Club of Canada luncheon in Toronto on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Friend , The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013 5:35PM EST
TORONTO - Shares of Blackberry (TSX:BB) dropped more than eight per cent Wednesday as the sheen continued to wear off from its smartphone product launch two weeks ago.
The Waterloo, Ont.-based company, which formerly called itself Research In Motion, saw shares decline $1.25 to close at $14.00 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, amid widespread weakness in the information technology sector.
The company's stock has fallen 21 per cent from the height it reached in late January before the new BlackBerrys were unveiled at a much-hyped event that was simulcast to various cities around the world.
Several analysts have expressed concerns about the slow launch of the new devices, which first rolled out in the U.K. and Canada with the touchscreen BlackBerry Z10. The United States won't get the touchscreen model until next month.
Much of the concern involved the staggered release of the BlackBerry Q10, a more traditional keypad version of the smartphone that won't hit stores until at least April.
"The consumer products market requires fast innovation cycles," said National Bank analyst Kris Thompson in a note.