BlackBerry CEO expects more than 10 million BlackBerry Q10 sales

With the BlackBerry Q10 and its Qwerty goodness now off to a start in the UK, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins is expecting the handset to be a huge success for the company. 

Speaking at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles on Monday, Heins said BlackBerry was seeing great signs of sales after the launch of the Q10 in the UK last weekend. According to Bloomberg, he went as far as to say "we expect several tens of million of units", which indicates Q10 might be more successful than the already released touchscreen Z10. BlackBerry sold one million Z10 units in Q1, which industry watchers have noted as a bit of a slow start. 

UK retailer Selfridges was the first to sell the BlackBerry Q10 to the masses when it exclusively offered the new smartphone over the weekend. According to the retailer, the BlackBerry Q10 was its fastest selling consumer electronics product ever, taking only 24 hours to claim the title. "The BlackBerry Q10 has been, without a doubt, the most highly anticipated smartphone we have ever sold and is already our most successful," said Julian Slim, Selfridges' head of Home and Leisure. The BlackBerry Q10 will be available on Tuesday, 30 April in the UK. 

The buzz of the BlackBerry Q10's launch can be pinned to its Qwerty keyboard. There's a select market of users who would rather work on a physical keyboard, and the BlackBerry loyal are ready to treat their fingers with a plastic keyboard once again. After the Q10's launch in the UK on Tuesday, it will also be available in BlackBerry's home country of Canada on 1 May and on all four US carriers later in May. 

During the conference on Monday, Heins also addressed negative analyst comments released earlier this month whichsaid BlackBerry Z10 return rates were abnormally high. While BlackBerry has already launched an investigation with the SEC and other financial regulators, Heins set the record straight by noting that Z10 returns were “completely in line with the industry" and better than previous BlackBerry launches were, "So the quality speaks for itself.”

We've reached out for further figures on the BlackBerry Q10's launch in the UK, where Carphone Warehouse has also sold out of the smartphone.