NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The bears on BlackBerry (BBRY:Nasdaq) are more than 95% American from what I've seen.Their geographic location over the last three years has no doubt colored their views of the company. Just think, three years ago, BlackBerry had over 50% of the American market share of the smart phone market. An enviable position to be sure. Today, BlackBerry has around a 3% share of the market in the U.S. Another way of looking at it is that BlackBerry had 30 million subscribers in the U.S. three years ago and about 17 million today. But that's over a period when smart phone sales around the world have doubled. So BlackBerry -- if they were just growing with the market in the U.S. - today should have 60 million subs in the U.S. If you're American and all the people around you every day are pulling out their Android or iPhones, you can't help but turn your nose up at players like BlackBerry and Nokia ( NOK) that you never really see. Even if analysts tell you that those two companies are still performing well overseas, you can't help but discount that information. It doesn't help when the New York Times runs stories about cool people in Silicon Valley are embarrassed at being seen using their BlackBerries by their friends. But let's put all this social stigma and geographic bias stuff to the side and really take a look at where BlackBerry sells its phones today and what that means for a successful roll-out of their new all-touch Z10 phone and, later, the keyboard Q10 in a few weeks. The U.S. is still a huge smart phone market in the world and this is still the case for BlackBerry --even if its market share has plummeted in the U.S. in the last three years.
Even today -- selling 2-year-old and older terrible phones for the last little while -- 22% of BlackBerry's global subscribers come from the U.S. That's double the second-largest market for BlackBerry which is the UK coming in a 11%.
Today, the Z10 goes on sale in Canada. Next week, the phone will start selling in the Middle East. Canada and the UK have traditionally been a stronghold for BlackBerry, capturing a lot of the banker/lawyer/corporate users. The Middle East (Saudi and the UAE) have obviously emerged in the last couple of years as very significant new markets for BlackBerry. Therefore, there's a good chance that, before the end of the month, we will continue to get a stream of good news trickling out of all these markets on how well the Z10 is doing. Canada has remained in love with the BlackBerry, even if the rest of the world has moved on. CIBC analyst Todd Coupland released a survey Monday that suggested over half of pre-registration orders for Z10s to some Canadian carriers came from current Android and iPhone users. That's stunning if accurate, as no BlackBerry bears (and even some BlackBerry bulls like me) ever would have guessed that. So, Monday's reports may just be part of a move that could last the next couple of weeks before there's a pullback.
Of course, we will still have to wait for accurate sales data from all these key markets. That could be a few more weeks away. And, of course, we'll get a more definite sense from the company on how the initial February push is going when they report earnings in March. But, with the high share count still held short, a trickle of good news from these key markets, and the possibility of BlackBerry announcing pre-orders by some of their top carrier customers, it seems to me that reward outweighs risk for the next two weeks -- especially after the big selloff last week. At the time of publication, the author was long BBRY. Follow @ericjackson This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.