Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry, told Bloomberg that sales of its latest Q10 smartphone are expected to be in the “tens of millions” range.

The device, which became available in the UK late last week, is the second powered by the recovering smartphone maker’s BlackBerry 10 platform, and the first using this OS to feature the vendor’s signature QWERTY keypad.

Speaking to Bloomberg Television, Heins said the device is “going to the installed base of more than 70 million BlackBerry users, so we have quite some expectations”.

According to Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies Group, there has been “more apparent buzz” than at the launch of its predecessor, the touch-screen Z10.

Yesterday, Carphone Warehouse said that it “predicts the BlackBerry Q10 will be a sell-out following the bumper sales this weekend, and confirms that it has brought in extra stock to satisfy anticipated demand”.

The UK retailer noted that its concession in department store Selfridges “sold record numbers” of the device last weekend, ahead of general release across all of its stores today.

Q10 is expected to make its debut in the US market late next month.

While it was reported that initial sales of the Z10 had been strong, this was countered by reports of a “muted” reception in the US, which was seen as an important market for BlackBerry.

Tablet talk-down
Bloomberg also said that Heins believes that the popularity of tablet devices will slide in the future, with large screen smartphones providing portability, and larger-screen devices in the home or office providing a better viewing experience (possibly with touch-screen input).

Observers noted that BlackBerry itself has hardly covered itself in glory in the tablet space, with its PlayBook device hit by delays, poor reviews, price cuts and write-downs.