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BlackBerry 10 launch broke records, says company

BlackBerry 10 launch broke records, says company

But the company declined to specify actual sales figures

BlackBerry says launch sales of its new BlackBerry 10 handsets in Canada and the UK have beaten previous company records, but it isn't releasing actual sales figures.

"In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50 percent better than any other launch day in our history in Canada," the company said Wednesday in a brief statement attributed to CEO Thorsten Heins. "In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone."

In not announcing precise sales figures, the company is taking a cue from competitors in the mobile electronics space.

Amazon has long resisted specifying Kindle sales on a unit basis, instead choosing murkier measurements like a percentage of the tablet market or "more than double" the previous year.

And when Microsoft recently launched its Windows Phone 8-series smartphones, the company proclaimed strong shipments of "over four times higher than they were last year," but didn't back up the claim with numbers.

BlackBerry's Z10 smartphone went on sale in the U.K. on Jan. 31, a day after the company unveiled the device. Sales in Canada began on Feb. 5 and the phone is now beginning a rollout to other countries as it passes network carrier testing.

A second phone, the Q10, features a keyboard and is due on sale in April.

The company is due to announce quarterly earnings on March 28 during which it is expected to specify launch sales and quantify the consumer reaction to the BlackBerry 10 launch.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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