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A New BlackBerry Craze May Be Blooming

The bears on BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) 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 smartphone market. An enviable position, to be sure.

Today, BlackBerry has around a 3% share of the market in the US.

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Another way of looking at it is that BlackBerry had 30 million subscribers in the US three years ago and about 17 million today. But that's over a period when smartphone sales around the world have doubled. So BlackBerry -- if it was just growing with the market in the US -- today should have 60 million subs in the US.

If you're American and all the people around you every day are pulling out their Androids (NASDAQ:GOOG) or iPhones (NASDAQ:AAPL), you can't help but turn your nose up at players like BlackBerry and Nokia (NYSE:NOK), which 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 how cool people in Silicon Valley are embarrassed at being seen using their BlackBerrys 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 US is still a huge smartphone market in the world and this is still the case for BlackBerry -- even if its market share has plummeted in the US in the last three years.

Even today -- selling two-year-old and older terrible phones for the last little while -- 22% of BlackBerry's global subscribers come from the US. That's double the second-largest market for BlackBerry which is the UK coming in a 11%.

The next-biggest markets for BlackBerry are, surprisingly, Saudi Arabia at 7% and the UAE at 4%. Also at 4% market share are Canada, France, Spain, and the Philippines. Then at 3% are countries like Argentina, Indonesia, and Italy. India is at 2%. Other notable countries are Australia, Nigeria, and South Africa. (All these data are estimated by Tom Astle at Byron Capital Markets.)

So why did BlackBerry do well Monday with the stock up 15%? I don't think it was the BlackBerry TV commercial in the Super Bowl (although I thought it was the right decision for them to spend $3 million or whatever it cost them to reach one-third of the people in their single largest market).

What I think was the real driver of the stock was news out of the UK over the weekend that the Z10 was selling out over there after going on sale last Thursday. It's still not clear exactly how much supply of the new phones different outlets received, but it's still surprising to many that these phones were selling well.

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